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J&C Truck Driving School, Inc. v. Ingram

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

October 24, 2014

J& C Truck Driving School, Inc.
v.
Charles L. Ingram, Sr

Released for Publication June 17, 2015.

Appeal from Russell Circuit Court. (CV-12-900297). Trial Judge: Albert L. Johnson.

For Appellant: Mark N. Chambless, Chambless Math & Carr, P.C., Montgomery.

DONALDSON, Judge. Thompson, P.J., and Pittman, Thomas, and Moore, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 691

DONALDSON, Judge.

Under Alabama law, a judgment creditor who files a contest of a judgment debtor's claim of exemption is entitled to a hearing on the issue. See Rule 64B, Ala. R. Civ. P. Because a hearing in this case, which involves a judgment creditor's contest of a judgment debtor's claim of exemption, was not held as requested, we reverse the order of the Russell Circuit Court (" the trial court" ) granting the claim of exemption filed by Charles L. Ingram, Sr., and remand the cause to the trial court to conduct a hearing on the contest of the claim of exemption filed by J& C Truck Driving School, Inc. (" J& C" ).

Facts and Procedural History

J& C provides training in driving trucks. On March 19, 2003, Ingram entered into a retail installment contract with J& C for the purpose of receiving truck-driving training. Pursuant to the terms of the contract, Ingram agreed to pay J& C $9,972.60 for the training. The contract also contained a provision for an award of attorney fees and other costs of collection against Ingram if Ingram did not pay as required and the contract was referred to collection.[1]

On November 12, 2012, J& C filed a complaint in the trial court against Ingram alleging that he had not paid as required by the contract. J& C's complaint asserted damages in the amount of $9,972.60, together with claims for $17,385.12 in interest and $3,154.20 in attorney fees. Ingram was served with process by certified mail on November 30, 2012. On December 14, 2012, Ingram filed an answer denying that he owed any money to J& C. A trial was set to begin on June 25, 2013. On June 28, 2013, the trial court entered a judgment in favor of J& C and against Ingram, awarding damages in the amount of $9,972.60, prejudgment interest in the amount of $11,000, attorney fees in the amount of $1,500, and court costs. On August 27, 2013, J& C filed a process of garnishment in the trial court seeking to garnish funds from Ingram's account with Wells Fargo Bank, National Association (" Wells Fargo" ). The trial-court clerk issued the process of garnishment to Wells Fargo on September 13, 2013. Wells Fargo was served with process on September 19, 2013.

On September 20, 2013, Ingram, without the assistance of counsel, filed a handwritten statement in the trial court (" the claim of exemption" ) in which he asserted that the funds in the Wells Fargo bank account consisted of moneys deposited into the ac

Page 692

count as veteran's disability benefits and Social Security benefits. In support of this assertion, Ingram attached to the filing a bank statement from Wells Fargo for a single month indicating that funds had been deposited into the account from the United States Treasury and from the Social Security Administration.

On September 25, 2013, J& C filed a contest to the claim of exemption and a motion to strike the claim of exemption. In that motion, J& C contended that Ingram had failed to file a proper inventory of all of his personal property as required by ยง 6-10-29, Ala. Code 1975. The motion also contended that Ingram had failed to file ...


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