Garnishee puzzle | Fin24
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Garnishee puzzle

Jan 22 2013 10:53
A Fin24 user is baffled about garnishee orders being issued in Kimberley or Beaufort West for people staying in Cape Town or Duban, and asks if this is legal. He writes:

I know many people who have garnishees (emoluments) and mostly with Coombe and Associates. It seems all their garnishee orders are either done in Kimberley or Beaufort West courts.

These people do not reside or work in these towns. So many articles on the internet say that theses emoluments are illegal and must be cancelled.

According to section 65J (6,) the garnishee can be rescinded if there was no affordability test done and/or the person is unable to pay the garnishee.

Do they have to go to the court where the emolument was granted? Cape Town or Durban is a long and inconvenient trip to Beaufort West and Kimberly.

Kem Westdyk of Summit Financial Partners responds:

Section 65(J)(1) of the Magistrates' Courts Act states that emolument attachment orders must be issued from the court in which the employer resides.

However, sections 47 and 48 allow for a person to consent to the judgment of any other court. That is why you will see a case in Kempton Park or Kimberley, when the debtor lives and works in Cape Town.

I don't really have a problem with this, because it often leads to reduced fees - but consent to jurisdiction must be in writing, and the employee must know what he is signing. 

What we often find is that the credit providers "slip" consent to jurisdiction (and worse than this, consent to judgment) documents into a pack that the employee signs, so he has no idea what he is signing.

But on the face of it the documents would be in order.

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