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Hudson Insurance Co. v. Kumari

United States District Court, District of Columbia

June 10, 2016

HUDSON INSURANCE COMPANY, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
KRISHNA KUMARI, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY United States District Judge

         Presently before the Court is Plaintiff Benaka, Inc.’s [3] Motion for Judgment against Garnishees for Rental Payment Amounts. For the reasons described below, the Court shall DENY Plaintiff’s [3] Motion for Judgment against Garnishees for Rental Payment Amounts.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Benaka, Inc. is a judgment creditor as to Defendant, Mr. Bharath Kortagere, arising out of a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland (“the Maryland Suit”). See Registration of Foreign Judgment, ECF No. [1] (attaching three courts orders from the Maryland Suit indicating judgment against Mr. Kortagere).

         As relevant to this proceeding, Mr. Kortagere is also the owner of the real property and improvements located at 1309 Park Road, N.W., Unit 001, Washington, D.C., 20010, which Mr. Kortagere rents to two tenants, Ms. Lauren Reese and Ms. A. Grace Anderson.

         On or about March 14, 2016, Benaka, Inc. registered the Judgment from the Maryland Suit in this Court. See Id. Benaka, Inc. subsequently requested Writs of Attachment on Judgment Other Than Wages, Salary and Commissions (the “Writs”) and accompanying Interrogatories in Attachment as to Ms. Reese and Ms. Anderson, which the Court issued on April 7, 2016. Benaka, Inc. then served Ms. Reese and Ms. Anderson by private process service with the Writs and the Interrogatories in Attachment. See Exhibit B to Pl.’s Motion, ECF No. [3-3]. On or about April 22, 2016, Ms. Reese and Ms. Anderson each answered the Interrogatories, as follows:

QUESTION #1: Were you at the time of the service of the writ of attachment, or have you between the time of such service and the filing of your answers to this interrogatory indebted to the defendant(s), and if so, how, and in what amount?
ANSWER: To my knowledge, I have never been indebted to Krishna Kumari, the only defendant identified in the Writ of Attachment on Judgment other than Wages, Salary and Commissions (the “Writ”) that I received on or about April 13, 2016. I was not indebted to Bharath Kortagere, the individual identified in the letter I received with the Writ at the time of service or at any time up to now. I will owe monthly rental payments to Mr. Kortagere on May 1, 2016, June 1, 2016, and July 1, 2016 (the last 3 months of my lease term in the amount of $650.00 (as to A. Grace Anderson) and $850.00 (as to Lauren Reese).
QUESTION #2: Have you at the time of the service of the writ of attachment, or have you had between the time of such service and the filing of your answer to this interrogatory, any goods, chattels, or credits of the defendant(s) in your possession or charge, and, if so, what?
ANSWER: To my knowledge, I have never had in my possession or charge any goods, chattels, or credits of Krishna Kumari, the only defendant identified in the Writ that I received on or about April 13, 2016. I have not had in my possession or charge any goods, chattels, or credits of Bharath Kortagere, the individual identified in the letter I received with the Writ, at the time of service or at any time up to now.

Exhibit A to Pl.’s Motion, ECF No. [3-2].

         On April 29, 2016, Plaintiff Benaka, Inc. filed the instant motion, requesting that this Court enter judgments against Ms. Reese and Ms. Anderson and in favor of Banaka for rental payments to be owed by Ms. Reese and Ms. Anderson to Mr. Kortagere, on May 1, 2016, June 1, 2016, and July 1, 2016. See Pl.’s Mot. for Judgment, ECF No. [3].

         II. DISCUSSION

         In order to reach personal property of a debtor held by a third party in the District of Columbia, a judgment creditor must-following entry of judgment-request the court to issue a writ of attachment. Consumers United Ins. Co. v. Smith, 644 A.2d 1328, 1351 (D.C. 1994) (citing D.C. Code § 16-542). The judgment creditor must then “serv[e] the garnishee with a copy of the writ of attachment and of the interrogatories accompanying the writ.” Id. at 1351-52 (quoting D.C. Code § 16-546). Service of the writ on the garnishee creates a valid lien in favor of the judgment creditor on the debtor’s property held by the garnishee. Id. at 1352. Such ...


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