A garnishment is a proceeding against a third party ("the garnishee"). The garnishee has money or other property belonging to the judgment debtor-defendant. Garnishment is the term of the legal process by which the garnishee pays into court the money, or property, that the garnishee owes to the judgment debtor. (NOTE: Garnishments may be filed only after a judgment has been obtained against the debtor.) 

Glossary of important Garnishment terms

Collateral - Property that guarantees payment of a secured debt.

Default - A failure to perform a legal duty.

Garnishee - A person or business entity, such as a corporation or bank which holds or owe monies or property to the judgment debtor.

Garnishment - A court-ordered process that takes property from a person to satisfy a debt.

Judgment Debtor - A person or entity (such as a bank) that owes money.

Plaintiff - In a garnishment action, the plaintiff is the judgment creditor who is seeking to collect a judgment wherein the judgment debtor owes money to the judgment creditor.


The Magistrate Court has jurisdiction to handle garnishments where the value judgment is $15,000 or less.


Is appropriate in the county where the garnishee (employer or bank) is located.

Filing Fee

The filing fee is $60 for one defendant and $8.00 for each additional defendant per case. The Marshal charges $13.00 to serve one defendant and $6.00 for each additional service. Business checks should be made payable to Magistrate Court.

Procedures for Filing a Garnishment

The Clerk of Magistrate Court provides forms required for filing and serving of Continuing Garnishment or Regular Garnishment. An applicant may appear in person in the office of the office of Magistrate Court at the Central location (185 Central Ave. SW, Suite TG-100, Atlanta, GA 30303) or file online. 

In order to file a garnishment in the Magistrate Court of Fulton County, you must have a certified copy of the judgment upon which you are filing. 

Plaintiff(s) must confirm the address for service is in Fulton County.  The Marshal’s Department will not issue a refund of a service fee if the Marshal’s Department determines the address for service is in Fulton County. Below are websites that may be used to confirm an address is in Fulton County. The Marshal’s Department assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided by these websites.

Fulton County Tax Assessor


A business which has been served with a garnishment affidavit has forty-five (45) days to file an answer. If an answer is not filed within forty-five (45) days, the garnishee (employer or bank) will be in default. All answers must be received in our office by 5:00 p.m. on the 45th day after service. For instructions on how to answer a garnishment, please refer to the Instructions in the appropriate Garnishment Packet.


If an answer is not filed within 45 days, the garnishee is in default and the plaintiff may file a default against the garnishee (employer or bank).

Garnishment Forms