United States of America v. Middleton
ORDER Denying 8 Request for Hearing, filed by John Middleton. Signed by District Judge John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Case No. 14-50339
Honorable John Corbett O’Meara
AMERICAN FUNDS SERVICE CO.,
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT’S REQUEST FOR HEARING
This matter came before the court on defendant John Middleton’s April 16, 2014 Request
Concerning the Government’s Order of Garnishment and Defendant’s Claim for Exemptions. The
government filed a response April 28, 2014; and Defendant filed an answer to the response May 12,
Defendant Middleton seeks a hearing “for the purpose of submitting objections to the
government’s order of garnishment, and for submitting his claims for exemptions.” Specifically,
Middleton objects to the government’s garnishment of his 401(k) account with American Funds
Under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act, the United States is responsible for collecting
unpaid restitution for the purpose of making the victim whole. 18 U.S.C. §§ 3612 and 3613. A
defendant may request a hearing regarding garnishment; however, Section 3202(d) limits the issues
at such a hearing to the probable validity of any claim of exemption and the government’s
compliance with statutory requirements. A defendant who contests a writ of garnishment bears the
burden of showing he is entitled to an exemption. United States v. Sawaf, 74 F.3d 119, 122 (6th Cir.
While there is an exemption for “certain annuity and pension payments,” this exemption is
limited to pensions arising under the Railroad Retirement Act and retirement payments from certain
military accounts. I.R.C. § 6334(a)(6). In this case, defendant Middleton’s pension account is a
privately-funded savings account; and there is no exemption available to protect this asset from
garnishment for the unpaid restitution debt.
It is hereby ORDERED that defendant Middleton’s April 16, 2014 request for a hearing is
It is further ORDERED that the garnishee American Funds Service Company is DIRECTED
TO PAY 100% of defendant Middleton’s interest in his 401(k) account to the Clerk of the Court
until such time as the debt in Case No. 03-80103 is paid in full or the garnishee no longer has
custody or control of assets belonging to John Middleton.
s/John Corbett O'Meara
United States District Judge
Date: May 20, 2014
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was served upon the parties of record
on this date, May 20, 2014, using the ECF system and/or ordinary mail.
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