United States District Court, D. Colorado
ROBERT E. GOODSON, Plaintiff,
MEGAN J. BRENNAN, Postmaster General of the United States Postal Service, Defendant.
ORDER OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS TO
CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Robert E.
Goodson's Objections to Writ of Continuing Garnishment.
(Doc. ## 107, 108.) The Court has reviewed the record and
determined that a hearing is not necessary. For the reasons
discussed below, the Court concludes that Plaintiff's
Objections lack legal merit.
States Magistrate Judge Kristen L. Mix thoroughly recited the
factual and procedural background of this litigation in her
February 27, 2018 Recommendation on the parties'
competing Motions for Summary Judgment (Doc. # 96), which
this Court affirmed and adopted on March 19, 2018 (Doc. #
97). The factual and procedural background detailed in the
Recommendation is incorporated herein by reference.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B); Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b). Accordingly, this Order will reiterate only what is
necessary to address Plaintiff's Objections.
March 19, 2018, the Court granted Defendant Postmaster
General of the United States Postal Service Megan J.
Brennan's Motion for Summary Judgment and dismissed all
of Plaintiff's claims against Defendant with prejudice.
(Doc. # 97.) The Court awarded Defendant her reasonable costs
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1) and
D.C.COLO.LCivR. 54.1 because she was the prevailing party.
(Id. at 2.) After a hearing on September 12, 2018,
regarding Defendant's proposed Bill of Costs, the Clerk
of the Court taxed costs in the amount of $418.95 against
Plaintiff and in favor of Defendant; these costs were for the
court reporters' fees Defendant incurred. (Doc. # 102.)
months later, on May 30, 2019, Defendant applied for a Writ
of Continuing Garnishment upon the full amount of the
judgment entered against Plaintiff, $418.95, because a
balance of that amount remained outstanding. (Doc. # 104.)
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 3205(b)(1), Defendant identified
Lowe's Home Improvement - Corporate Office
(“Garnishee Lowe's”) as the garnishee and
asserted that Garnishee Lowe's is “believed to owe
or will owe money or property to [Plaintiff], or is in
possession of property of [Plaintiff].” (Id.
at 2.) The Clerk of the Court issued the Writ of Continuing
Garnishment to Garnishee Lowe's on the same day, May 30,
2019. (Doc. # 105.)
Lowe's filed its Answer to the Writ on Garnishment on
June 17, 2019, and stated that Plaintiff is an active,
full-time employee earning $19.42 per hour and is paid on a
bi-weekly basis. (Doc. # 106 at 2.) Garnishee Lowe's
asserted that it had “initiated action . . . as
directed” and that “deductions [would] begin for
the bi-weekly payroll period ending 6/14/19.”
filed two identical Objections to the Writ of Continuing
Garnishment on June 25 and June 27, 2019. (Doc. ## 107, 108.)
The Objection filed June 27, 2019, includes as an exhibit a
letter from the Deputy Circuit Executive of the Tenth Circuit
regarding Plaintiff's petition for review of Judicial
Complaint No. 10-18-90012, which Plaintiff filed against
Magistrate Judge Mix. (Doc. # 108-1.) In his Objections,
Plaintiff states that the garnishment of his wages is
“premature” in light of his request for review of
his judicial complaint against Magistrate Judge Mix. (Doc. #
108.) Plaintiff asserts that he “believes he does not
owe the debt and will be made whole, ” presumably upon
the resolution of his judicial complaint. (Id. at
2.) He requests “a hearing on whether the debt is valid
pending a decision by the Judicial Counsel” on his
judicial complaint. (Id. at 2.)
APPLICABLE LEGAL RULES
PRO SE STATUS
party proceeds pro se, as Plaintiff does here, the
court “review[s] his pleadings and other papers
liberally and hold[s] them to a less stringent standard than
those drafted by attorneys.” Trackwell v. United
States, 472 F.3d 1242, 1243 (10th Cir. 2007) (citations
omitted); see also Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519,
520-21 (1972). However, it is not “the proper function
of the district court to assume the role of advocate for the
pro se litigant.” Hall v. Bellmon,
935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991).
GARNISHMENT UNDER THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PROCEDURES
Fair Debt Collection Procedures Act (“FDCPA”), 28
U.S.C. §§ 3001, et seq., affords the
United States procedures to collect its debts, including
postjudgment debts. F.T.C. v. Affiliate Strategies,
Inc., No. 09-4104-JAR, 2012 WL 3111871, *2 (D. Kan. July
31, 2012). Among other things, the FDCPA allows the United
States to garnish property in the hands of third parties to
enforce a judgment debt. Payne v. Nat'l Sec.
Agency, Civil No. 97-266 MCA/LFG, 2008 WL 11451902, *4
(D.N.M. March 27, 2008) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 3205(a)).
Specifically, 28 U.S.C. § 3205(a) provides:
A court may issue a writ of garnishment against property
(including nonexempt disposable earnings) in which the debtor
has a substantial nonexempt interest and which is in the
possession, custody, or control of a person other than the
debtor, in order to satisfy the judgment against the debtor.
. . . A writ of garnishment issued under this subsection