Sunday, March 09, 2008

Nebraska Supreme Court affirms garnishee judgment for commissions it owed to one of its real estate agent-independent contractors after it denied in garnishor interrogatories that the judgment debtor while an independent contractor was one of its employees. The garnishee real estate company owes the full amount of the commissions and not the amount of the judgment however. Petersen v. Central Park Properties, S-06-1289, 275 Neb. 220 "A garnishee owes a duty to act in good faith and answer fully and truthfully all proper interrogatories presented to him. S ee Western Smelting & Refining Co. v. First Nat. Bank, 150 Neb. 477, 35 N.W.2d 116 (1948). T he garnishee is expected to, in some appropriate manner, properly disclose all relevant facts within his knowledge at the time of submitting an answer concerning his indebtedness to the judgment debtor or concerning money or property of the judgment debtor then in his possession." "Thompson knew or should have known that Skala would be due commissions for real estate sales within the next 60 days. T he district court did not err in finding that commissions were owed to Skala at the time the interrogatories were answered." "Section 25-1028 provides for the garnishor the rebuttable presumption that if the garnishee fails to answer, the garnishee is indebted in the full amount of the judgment creditor’s claim. See Spaghetti Ltd. Partnership v. Wolfe, 264 Neb. 365, 647 N.W.2d 615 (2002). Although Realty Linc answered the interrogatories, Realty Linc’s appearance at the hearing to determine liability defeated garnishor's claim that garnishee owed the entire $33k judgment. The district court entered judgment against Realty Linc for$19k the entire amount of commissions the judgment debtor had coming to him. he court’s findings have the effect of a jury’s findings and will not be set aside on appeal unless clearly wrong.

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