How to File an Appeal on Judgments & Garnished Wages

Garnishment judgments are used to force businesses and individuals to pay successful plaintiffs the award issued by the court. In negotiated settlements, this procedure pulls money directly from your bank account, either in bulk or in terms. Filing an appeal attempt to stop the garnishment may help your financial position or encourage negotiation with the creditor.

Motion to Set Aside

The legal term to attempt a court's ruling to be set aside is called a motion to set aside. This filing is normally requested by your attorney if compelling evidence is found at some point within the appeal period that the order should be vacated. Such reasons include fraud, falsifying documents or evidence or providing false testimony during the original hearing. If the motion is granted, the hearing will address the merits of the motion.

Showing Hardship

Garnishments may also be stopped if you can prove that the amount taken out of your bank account or paycheck presents a severe financial hardship. The burden of proof lies with you to show the judge your income and asset statements, a comprehensive list of your monthly expenses or health problems that prevent additional earning power. These documents are presented to the judge during the appeal hearing.

Excessive Garnishments

Federal rules outline how much money can be awarded in a garnishment execution ruling. These rules are not defined by a dollar amount -- rather as percentages of your total assets or income. You'll need to prove to the court that the garnishment exceeds 25 percent of your disposable wages, or 30 times minimum wage. Paycheck stubs and bank statements must be provided to make this assertion. However, it's likely that the garnishment amount will simply be reduced, rather than the judgement being vacated altogether.

Non-seizable Assets

Certain assets or benefits you may receive are ineligible for garnishment. These include a wide range of income sources that are not employment-derived, such as Social Security benefits, veteran's benefit payouts, unemployment payments or government pensions. You must provide proof to the court that one or more of these are your primary sources of income, and that any additional income falls outside of the allowable limits of garnishment executions.