Can I use a money judgment issued from a court in one state to garnish the defendant’s income tax refund in another state?

UPDATED: Aug 1, 2011

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Can I use a money judgment issued from a court in one state to garnish the defendant’s income tax refund in another state?

About 2 years ago in MI, I received a money judgement in my favor against a tenant who moved has since moved to OR. However I never received any money nor have yet taken any collection action. Can I still garnish her income tax refund over in OR using the same money judgment issued from a civil court in MI?

Asked on August 1, 2011 Michigan


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not you are able to levy upon a former tenant's income tax return who resides in another state as to her state tax return as a result of a judgment against the tenant depends upon whether or not the state where the judgment debtor resides affords full faith and credit to your state of a "sister judgment".

To determine whether or not the state of Oregon recognizes a Michigan judgment you need to conduct research as to this issue.

One way to possibly ascertain this is to contact the court clerk in the county where the the tenant resides in Oregon and see if a sister state judgment would be recognized from Michigan and if so, what documents need to be completed to start the levy process in Oregon.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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