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North Georgia Finishing, Inc. v. Di-Chem, Inc., 419 U.S. 601 (1975)

North Georgia Finishing, Inc. v. Di-Chem, Inc.

No. 73-1121

Argued November 18, 1974

Decided January 22, 1975

419 U.S. 601


Georgia statutes permitting a writ of garnishment to be issued by an officer authorized to issue an attachment or a court clerk in pending suits on an affidavit of the plaintiff or his attorney containing only conclusory allegations, prescribing filing of a bond as the only method of dissolving the garnishment, which deprives the defendant of the use of the property in the garnishee's hands pending the litigation, and making no provision for an early hearing, violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, Sniadach v. Family Finance Corp., 395 U. S. 337; Fuentes v. Shevin, 407 U. S. 67. Mitchell v. W. T. Grant Co., 416 U. S. 600, distinguished. That this case involved garnishment of a corporation's sizable bank account, rather than a consumer's household necessities, is immaterial, since the probability of irreparable injury if the garnishment proves unjustified is sufficiently great to require some procedure to guard against initial error. Pp. 419 U. S. 605-608.

231 Ga. 260, 201 S.E.2d 321, reversed and remanded.

WHITE, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which DOUGLAS, BRENNAN, STEWART, and MARSHALL, JJ., joined. STEWART, J., filed a concurring statement, post, p. 419 U. S. 608. POWELL, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, post, p. 419 U. S. 609. BLACKMUN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which REHNQUIST, J., joined, and in numbered paragraph 5 of which BURGER, C.J., joined, post, p. 419 U. S. 614.

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