United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Stephen Whalen, U.S. Magistrate Judge
ORDER ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION ]; OVERRULING DEFENDANT'S OBJECTION TO
THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION , AND DENYING
DEFENDANT'S OBJECTION  TO THE GARNISHMENT
J. TARNOW, SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
student loan case that comes before the Court on Defendant
Darryl Miller's objection to a writ of continuing
garnishment. The Court granted Plaintiff's Motion for
Summary Judgment on May 21, 2009, and issued a Judgment
against Darryl Miller in the amount of $30, 248.87, plus pre-
and post-judgment interest pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1961.
[Dkt. # 40]. On August 5, 2009. Mr. Miller filed an
application to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal . The
Court denied that motion on September 17, 2009 . Writs of
garnishment [59, 60, 61] were then issued against several
garnishees, including the Michigan Department of Treasury,
Bank of America, and Flagstar Bank.
Miller filed a request for a hearing on the writs of
garnishment , and his hearing was set for March 25, 2010
. During the hearing, the parties reached a settlement
agreement, and Mr. Miller dismissed his appeal. At some point
between that hearing and July 6, 2018, the settlement broke
down, and Plaintiff issued another Writ of Continuing
Garnishment against Michigan's Department of Treasury
. Mr. Miller requested a hearing on the writ, and the
matter was referred to the Magistrate Judge.
Magistrate Judge held a hearing on February 28, 2019, and he
recommended denying Mr. Miller's objection to the
garnishment. The Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”)  found that Mr. Miller had not
carried his burden of showing that he is entitled to an
exemption from the writ of garnishment. See United
States v. Sawaf, 74 F.3d 119, 122 (6th Cir. 1996).
Mr. Miller seeks to negotiate a payment plan with Plaintiff,
but the Court is not empowered to craft a second settlement
agreement between the parties. As to the payment plan, the
Magistrate Judge noted,
At the hearing, the Plaintiff indicated a willingness to
consider a new payment plan, but requires financial
information from the Defendant. If the Defendant is willing
to provide that information and engage in discussions with
Plaintiff's counsel, it is possible that he might be able
to obtain relief that would alleviate some of his financial
concerns. But that issue is not before me, nor or any issues
relating to the validity of the underlying judgment. Because
Defendant has not shown that his Michigan income tax refunds
are exempt from garnishment, his objections must be denied.
R&R at 3.
U.S.C. § 3014 provides the mechanism for debtors to
exempt portions of their income from a writ of garnishment.
Economic difficulties alone will “not provide a
sufficient basis to exempt [the debtor's income] from the
writ.” United States v. Jones, No. 11-11319,
2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152747, *4 (Dec. 1, 2011) (quoting
U.S. v. Wells, No. 06-10589, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
83124, at *6-7 (E.D. Mich. Nov. 3, 2006)).
Miller filed an Objection  to the R&R on the grounds
that financial difficulties and other factors beyond his
control precipitated the breakdown of his negotiated payment
plan. That may be so, but that is not grounds for an
exemption, and that is the only issue before the Court at
this time. Mr. Miller's petition that the Court allow a
payment plan is premature. The Court will, as it has done
before, accept a fairly negotiated settlement agreement
between Plaintiff and Defendant, but it is up to the parties,
including Mr. Miller, to provide each other with the
information they need in order to reach such an agreement.
final matter, Mr. Miller must start filing motions pursuant
to the Court's Local Rules. See
Mr. Miller can file documents with the clerk's office
either in person or by mail. Faxing documents to the Court is
neither proper nor efficient.
Court having reviewed the record, the Report and
Recommendation  is hereby ADOPTED and
entered as the findings and conclusions of the Court.
IS ORDERED that Mr. Miller's Objection  to
the Report and Recommendation is OVERRULED.