Garnishment Susan Guinta is a real estate salesperson. Smythe Cramer Co. went to an Ohio state…

Garnishment Susan Guinta is a real estate salesperson. Smythe Cramer Co. went to an Ohio state court and obtained a garnishment order to attach Guinta’s personal earnings. The order was served on Russell Realtors to attach sales commissions that Russell owed to Guinta. Russell objected, arguing that commissions are not personal earnings and are therefore exempt from attachment under a garnishment of personal earnings. An Ohio statute defi nes personal earnings as “money, or any other consideration or thing of value, that is paid or due to a person in exchange for work, labor, or personal services provided by the person to an employer.” An employer is “a person who is required to withhold taxes out of payments of personal earnings made to a judgment debtor.” Russell does not withhold taxes from its salespersons’ commissions. Under a federal statute, earnings means “compensation paid or payable for personal services, whether denominated as wages, salary, commission, bonus, or otherwise.” When the federal defi nition is more restrictive and results in a smaller garnishment, that defi nition is controlling. Property other than personal earnings may be subject to garnishment without limits. How should the court rule regarding Russell’s objection? Why? [Smythe Cramer Co. v. Guinta, 116 Ohio Misc.2d 20, 762 N.E.2d 1083 (2001)]

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