gar·nish /'gär-nish/ vt [Anglo-French garniss -, stem of garnir to garnish, give legal summons, warn, from Old French, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German warnōn to take heed]
1: to subject (property or money) to garnishment
2: to seek satisfaction of (a debt) through garnishment compare attach, levy

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I verb appropriate, attach, commandeer, confiscate, decorare, distrain, execute, exornare, impound, instruere, levy upon, seize, seize and appropriate, sequester, sequestrate II index attach (seize), distrain, embellish, impress (procure by force), levy

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

To seize someone’s money, property, or wages to settle a debt or claim.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

To get a court order requiring a third party that holds funds belonging to a debtor to set some portion of that money aside for the benefit of the creditor. For example, a court might issue an order garnishing the wages of a parent who owes child support; the employer is then required to withhold a certain amount of the parent's paycheck each month and send that money to someone — often, the local sheriff — to be paid to the other parent.
Category: Bankruptcy, Foreclosure & Debt → Debt & Collection Agencies
Category: Divorce & Family Law → Divorce, Child Support & Custody
Category: Employment Law & HR → Employee Rights
Category: Employment Law & HR → Human Resources

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

v. To seize a debtor's property, held by a third party, in order to recover a debt; commonly against debtor's earnings from an employer.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

   to obtain a court order directing a party holding funds (such as a bank) or about to pay wages (such as an employer) to an alleged debtor to set that money aside until the court determines (decides) how much the debtor owes to the creditor. Garnishing funds is also a warning to the party holding the funds (garnishee) not to pay them, and to inform the court as to how much money is being held. If the garnishee (such as a bank or employer) should mistakenly give the money to the account owner or employee, the garnishee will be liable to pay the creditor what he/she/it has coming. Garnishing wages is a typical means used to collect late child support and alimony payments or money judgments. Often the order will be to pay installment payments to the sheriff until the debt is collected. Then the sheriff pays the whole amount or payments to the person to whom the money is owed.
   See also: garnishee, garnishment

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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