Arkansas Supreme Court

LITTLE ROCK - The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld a decision of the Benton County Circuit Court that reduced a Wal-Mart financial obligation by $10,437.02. Wal-Mart's headquarters are located in Benton County. The loser in Nationwide Insurance Enterprise vs. Tamela Ibanez and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (# 06-765) was Washington state-based Nationwide, which had its garnishment payment from Wal-Mart reduced from $11,523.39 to $1,086.37 in a dispute over a fired employee. At issue in the case was the differing processes used by two states when responding to the type of garnishment writ Nationwide originally served Wal-Mart. In Washington, where the original default judgment was issued against Wal-Mart, garnishment amounts are typically reduced on execution whereas in Arkansas they can be reduced before the case is judged. After the default judgment against Wal-Mart, Nationwide filed the decision in Benton County, where Wal-Mart appealed the amount, before execution. "To allow Nationwide's collection of the entire amount owed by the judgment debtor before a reduction upon execution, while indeed inequitable, would encourage a circumvention of the law in both states," wrote Justice Jim Gunter in the decision.

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Arkansas Supreme Court
625 Marshall St
Little Rock, AR - 72201

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