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Elliott Law Group, P.A. v. Five Star Credit Union

Supreme Court of Alabama

September 13, 2019

The ELLIOTT LAW GROUP, P.A., and William C. Elliott,
v.
FIVE STAR CREDIT UNION.

         Rehearing Denied December 13, 2019.

         Appeal from Montgomery Circuit Court (CV-08-900863)

Page 1149

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1150

          William C. Eilliott of The Elliott Law Group, Vestavia, for appellants.

          Leonard N. Match and Katherine E. Luders of Chambless Math & Carr, P.C., Montgomery, for appellee.

         MITCHELL, Justice.

         Five Star Credit Union ("Five Star") has attempted for over a decade to collect a debt owed by William C. Elliott. Five Star obtained a judgment against Elliott in 2011, but he never paid. In 2017, Five Star sought to garnish Elliott's wages by filing a process of garnishment in the Montgomery Circuit Court against Elliott's employer, The Elliott Law Group, P.A. ("ELG"), a law firm that is under Elliott's complete control. ELG opposed the process of garnishment. Following a hearing, the trial court found that the assertions in ELG's opposition were untrue and ordered that Elliott's income from ELG be garnished. Elliott and ELG (hereinafter referred to collectively as "the appellants") now appeal. Because the appellants' arguments lack merit, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         

Page 1151

          Facts and Procedural History

         This case began more than a decade ago. In August 2008, Five Star sued Elliott alleging breaches of various loan agreements. On February 22, 2011, the trial court entered a judgment for Five Star in the amount of $777,655.98 plus court costs.

         On September 25, 2017, following other attempts to collect on the judgment, Five Star filed a process of garnishment against ELG in the amount of $1,011,112.83.[1] On October 28, 2017, ELG filed a garnishment answer in which it stated: "[Elliott] is employed, but [Elliott] is indebted to [ELG] in an amount greater than [Elliott's] wages. [ELG] has right of sett-off [sic] and consensual lien on wages." On December 27, 2017, 60 days after ELG filed its garnishment answer, Five Star filed a verified contest of ELG's answer ("the contest"), in which counsel for Five Star stated (1) that he believed ELG's answer to be untrue and (2) that the parties had agreed to waive the requirement in § 6-6-458, Ala. Code 1975, that contests to a garnishee's answer be filed within 30 days after notice of the filing of the answer.

         Following a hearing on the contest, the trial court concluded that ELG's garnishment answer was untrue. The trial court's conclusion was ...


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