CASSADY v. HALL
ORDER denying 68 Motion for Garnishment. Ordered by US MAGISTRATE JUDGE STEPHEN HYLES on 3/1/2017 (efw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
DAVID DWAYNE CASSADY,
STEVEN D. HALL,
On April 5, 2016, the Court entered judgment on behalf of Plaintiff David Dwayne
Cassady against Defendant Steven D. Hall in the amount of $150,000.00 in compensatory
damages and $50,000.00 in punitive damages after a jury returned a verdict in Plaintiff’s
favor. J., Apr. 5, 2016, ECF No. 66. On June 17, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion for
garnishment against Defendant naming the Department of Administrative Services, State
of Georgia (Department) as garnishee (ECF No. 68). Plaintiff contends that there is a
General Liability Agreement in effect that gives Defendant a right of indemnification for
suits and resulting judgments arising out of the performance of his official duties as a
correctional officer employed by the Georgia Department of Corrections. Pl.’s Mot. for
Garnishment, ECF No. 68.
The Court ordered Plaintiff to perfect service over the
garnishee on October 18, 2016. Order 1, Oct. 18, 2016, ECF No. 71. After being served,
the Department filed a response asserting Eleventh Amendment immunity from suit, lack
of federal jurisdiction, and exclusion from coverage under the terms of the indemnity
agreement for intentional acts (ECF No. 74).
The Georgia Constitution provides that the State’s sovereign immunity can only be
waived by an Act of the General Assembly which specifically provides that sovereign
immunity is waived and the extent of the waiver. Ga. Const. Art. I, Sec. II, Para. IX(e).
For proceedings in garnishment actions, the General Assembly waived sovereign
immunity only as to salaries for services performed for or on behalf of municipal
corporations, counties, the state itself or its departments. O.C.G.A. § 18-4-26. Plaintiff
does not seek to garnish Defendant’s salary.
Rather, he seeks to garnish what he
contends is Defendant’s right to be indemnified by the Department based on the General
Liability Agreement. The State of Georgia has not waived its immunity from suit under
the Eleventh Amendment for Plaintiff’s claims and his motion for garnishment must be
Moreover, garnishments are authorized under 28 U.S.C. § 3205 against property in
which a debtor has a substantial nonexempt property interest. Plaintiff has failed to show
that Defendant has a property interest subject to garnishment in the General Liability
Agreement between the Department and the Georgia Department of Corrections. The
General Liability Agreement is an intergovernmental contract to which Defendant is not a
party. It is between governmental entities. Ga. Const. 1983 Art. IX, Sec. III, Para.1.
Therefore, it cannot be characterized as a property interest or right subject to garnishment
For the reasons set forth herein, Plaintiff’s motion for garnishment is denied.
SO ORDERED, this 1st day of March, 2017.
/s/ Stephen Hyles
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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