Pan American National Bank v. Ridgway

Decision Date12 January 1972
Docket NumberNo. 15046,15046
Citation475 S.W.2d 808
PartiesPAN AMERICAN NATIONAL BANK, Appellant, v. Joe RIDGWAY, Appellee.
CourtTexas Court of Appeals

Brenan & Brenan, San Antonio, for appellant.

Gray, Gardner, Robison & Cobb, San Antonio, for appellee.

KLINGEMAN, Justice.

Appellee, Joe Ridgway, filed a garnishment suit against Pan American National Bank, appellant herein (hereinafter referred to as garnishee), based upon an unsatisfied judgment in favor of appellee against Robert W. Meadows (hereinafter called defendant) in the amount of $6,812.30. Garnishee timely filed its answer admitting that it was indebteded to defendant Meadows in the sum of $1,547.48, and asked for recovery of $250.00 attorney's fees as reasonable costs. Such answer was not controverted. Appellee filed a motion for judgment asserting that there were no disputed fact issues. Upon a hearing of such cause, judgment was rendered in favor of appellee against garnishee for the sum of $1,547.48, together with interest from date of judgment until paid at the rate of 6% Per annum, and all costs of court. In such judgment, the court held that the garnishee is not entitled as a matter of law to recover its costs in the proceeding.

Garnishee's sole point of error is that the trial court erred in holding that it should pay the court costs and the attorneys' fees incurred by it in the garnishment action.

The provisions for the payment of costs in garnishment suits are set forth in Rule 677, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides: 'Where the garnishee is discharged upon his answer, the costs of the proceeding, including a reasonable compensation to the garnishee, shall be taxed against the plaintiff; where the answer of the garnishee has not been controverted and the garnishee is held thereon, such costs shall be taxed against the Defendant and included in the execution provided for in this section; where the answer is contested, the costs shall abide the issue of such contest .' (Emphasis supplied).

There are many Texas cases holding that the reasonable compensation to which the garnishee is entitled includes reasonable attorneys' fees. In Johnson & Co. v. Blanks, 68 Tex. 495, 4 S.W. 557, 558 (Tex.1887), the Court said: 'By compensation is meant a sufficient sum to remunerate the garnishee for expenses necessarily incurred in protecting his interest in the proceeding. That reasonable attorney's fees is a necessary expense in every case we have no doubt . . .. Whatever else it may include, we are clearly of the opinion that the statute was intended to cover a reasonable fee to the garnishee for the services of an attorney in assisting him in the proceeding.' See also: Carter Bros. & Co. v. Bush, 79 Tex. 29, 15 S.W. 167 (Tex.1890); Curtis v. Ford, 78 Tex. 262, 14 S.W. 614 (Tex.1890); Willis & Bro. v. Heath, 75 Tex. 124, 12 S.W. 971 (Tex.1889); Moody v. Carroll, 71 Tex. 143, 8 S.W. 510 (Tex.1888); Hanson v. Guardian Trust Co., 150 S.W.2d 465 (Tex.Civ.App.--Galveston, 1941, writ dism'd); May v. Donalson, 141 S.W.2d 702 (Tex.Civ.App.--San Antonio 1940, no writ); Dallas Packing Company v. Kimberling, 289 S.W. 149 (Tex.Civ.App.--Austin 1926, writ ref'd); Reed v. First State Bank, 211 S.W. 333 (Tex.Civ.App.--Dallas 1919, no writ); 27 Tex.Jur.2d, Garnishment, Section 125.

This Court in May v. Donalson, supra, said: 'The costs incurred by the plaintiff in the garnishment proceeding include the garnishee's attorneys' fees, and the plaintiff may be called upon to pay this amount in the event it can not be collected from the defendant, and this is true even though all of the costs are adjudged against the defendant. In this respect, attorneys' fees are comparable to the fee of a guardian ad litem and the same rules will be applied. Ashe v. Youngst, 68 Tex. 123, 3 S.W. 454.' 1 141 S.W.2d at 707.

By the clear provisions of Rule 677, supra, the costs should have been taxed against defendant, and the court erred in not doing so. Such costs under the authorities herein cited include...

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6 cases
  • All American Auto Salvage v. Camp's Auto Wreckers
    • United States
    • New Jersey Supreme Court
    • August 1, 1996
    ...(1981) (holding that N.Y. Debt. & Cred. Law § 151 authorizes set off of unmatured debt upon receipt of levy); Pan Am. Nat'l Bank v. Ridgway, 475 S.W.2d 808, 808 (Tex.Civ.App.1972) (holding that Rule 677 of Texas Rules of Civil Procedure permits garnishees' costs in responding to writ to be ......
  • Rowley v. Lake Area Nat. Bank,
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals
    • February 19, 1998
    ...writ); Carter v. Leiter, 476 S.W.2d 461, 463 (Tex.Civ.App.--Dallas 1972, writ ref'd n.r.e.); Pan Am. Nat'l Bank v. Ridgway, 475 S.W.2d 808, 809 (Tex.Civ.App.--San Antonio 1972, writ ref'd n.r.e.). The first clause of rule 677 does not apply to the facts of this case because the garnishee, L......
  • Henry v. Insurance Co. of North America
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals
    • June 23, 1994
    ...Inc. v. Big-Tex Crude Oil Co., 531 S.W.2d 208, 211 (Tex.Civ.App.--Eastland 1975, no writ); Pan Am. Nat'l Bank v. Ridgway, 475 S.W.2d 808, 809 (Tex.Civ.App.--San Antonio 1972, writ ref'd n.r.e.); May v. Donalson, 141 S.W.2d 702, 706 (Tex.Civ.App.--San Antonio 1940, no writ). The policy behin......
  • W. A. Krueger Co. v. St. Bernard's Regional Medical Center, 79-264
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • November 26, 1979
    ...not in point, for there the controlling Rule of Procedure allowed "reasonable compensation" to the garnishee. Pan American Nat. Bk. v. Ridgway, 475 S.W.2d 808 (Tex.Civ.App., 1972). HARRIS, C. J., not participating. ...
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Credit and Collections
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Texas Small-firm Practice Tools. Volume 1-2 Volume 1
    • May 5, 2022
    ...including attorneys’ fees, will be deducted from the amount the garnishee owed the defendant. [ Pan American National Bank v. Ridgway , 475 S.W.2d 808 (Tex. Civ. App.—San Antonio 1972, writ ref’d n.r.e .).] The alternative to garnishment is post-judgment discovery. However, post-judgment di......

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