Obtaining a Writ of Garnishment

Effective March 29, 2016, Writs of Garnishment will be filed and issued electronically for ECF participants using the procedure below:

Format of Writ

Garnishment is a state post-judgment procedure that is available in a bankruptcy proceeding. While Washington State has a mandated form of Writ, a proposed Writ of Garnishment submitted to the bankruptcy court must comply with the following formatting requirements:

  • The caption must read “United States Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Washington” (not State of Washington)
  • The Writ must be directed to the bankruptcy court, not the State of Washington
  • References to a judicial witness of the Writ are to be removed
  • References to an attorney issuing the Writ are to be removed
  • *NEW* The first page of the Writ must have a 4-inch top margin that is left blank for court use only, just like proposed orders.

Here is an example of a writ modified for filing in the Western District of Washington Bankruptcy Court.

Personal Identifiers Not Included in Writ

In accordance with RCW 6.27.080(2), a writ directed to a financial institution (bank, credit union, etc.) must include a signed statement including bank account information, federal tax identification numbers, or other personal identifiers of the defendant.  These personal identifiers are inappropriate for the public docket.  See Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9037(a).  Required personal identifiers are to be set forth in a separate statement, in accordance with state statute, to be served with the writ but are not filed or placed on the Bankruptcy Court docket.

Docketing of Application for Writ of Garnishment

  1. Ensure the proposed writ complies with the court’s formatting requirements above.
  2. Docket the Application for Writ of Garnishment using the event path: Bankruptcy>Other>Application for Writ of Garnishment – PDF viewable by court only.
  3. After selecting the party filer, browse and upload the Application PDF file, then click ‘Yes’ at ‘Attachments to Document.'
  4. The proposed Writ of Garnishment is submitted as an attachment to the Application.  Browse and upload the proposed Writ.  In the 'Description' box, type Proposed Writ and click 'Add to List.'
  5. Click  'Submit'

* NOTE:  When the above events are properly used, the Application and Proposed Writ will be restricted from public access on the docket until 3 business days after the issuance of the Writ.  The purpose of the restriction is to allow the applicant time to receive and serve the Writ.  Three business days after the writ is issued, all documents related to the Writ and the Application will be viewable to the public.

Issuance of the Writ

  1. The Bankruptcy Court Clerk will issue a signed and sealed Writ which will be sent electronically via NEF to the filer upon entry.
  2. After 3 business days from the date the Writ is issued, the restriction on the Application, Proposed Writ, and Issued Writ will lift and the documents will be  publicly viewable on the docket.