A garnishment is a legal device used to collect a money judgment. Improper use of a garnishment, however, can result in liability. Although it is very closely related to claims of malicious prosecution and abuse of process, wrongful garnishment is actionable in limited circumstances. See Boone v. Lou Budke’s Arrow Finance Co., Inc., 98 S.W.3d 555, 557 (Mo. Ct. App. 2002).
To state a viable claim for wrongful garnishment, a plaintiff must prove that the garnished property is his/her property and must also prove that there has been an abuse or misuse of the garnishment statute. Linsin v. Transportation Ins. Co., 691 S.W.2d 393, 394-95 (Mo. Ct. App. 1985). Note that in the few cases which have discussed a wrongful garnishment claim the claim is against the creditor, as the originator of the garnishment. Boone, 98 S.W.3d at 556.
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