Update (August 15, 2012): In the cat-and-mouse chase between creditors and debtors (and joint account holders of debtors), chalk up another win for the creditors as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit rejects the constitutional (due process) challenge to Minnesota garnishment law, as applied to the “innocent” joint account holder of a debtor.
Original Post (February 2, 2012): Minnesota Litigator has previously covered Barry Slade & Wheaton LLC’s constitutional assault on Minnesota’s garnishment statute at some length.
The quick overview: can it be that, under Minnesota law, a creditor can freeze money in a person’s joint banking account without adequate notice to that person because the account is jointly held by someone else who owes the creditor money? (Note: the issues in these cases, actually, are complicated and hard (impossible?) to encapsulate in a sentence. (For example, is the debt collector “a state actor” by virtue of its use of state authority when it freezes assets held by a third-party financial institution by invoking the state garnishment procedure (and causing a garnishment summons to be issued)?)
Barry Slade & Wheaton, LLC are back up to the U.S. Court of Appeals on another constitutional challenge. Defendant Messerli & Kramer is representing itself defending the decision of U.S. District Court Judge John R. Tunheim (D. Minn.) in the law firm’s favor.
(And appellants’ reply brief in support of their appeal is here.)