United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER DENYING GARNISHEE'S OBJECTION TO WRIT OF
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Garnishee Washington State Department of
Retirement Systems's (“Department”)
objections to the writ of garnishment issued in this case.
Dkts. 8, 11 (collectively “objections”). The
Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in
opposition to the objections and the remainder of the file
and hereby denies the Department's objections for the
reasons stated herein.
FACTUAL & PROCEDURAL HISTORY
December 18, 2009, the Honorable Robert J. Bryan entered a
criminal judgment against defendant/judgment debtor Edward
LeRoy Drapeau (“Mr. Drapeau”), adjudging him
guilty of one count of wire fraud and one count of mail
fraud. United States v. Drapeau, 09-cr-5275-1 RJB,
Dkt. 25. The Court sentenced Mr. Drapeau to 18 months'
imprisonment and ordered him to pay $502, 475.78 in
restitution. Id. at 5.
December 12, 2018, the United States filed an application for
writ of garnishment (“writ”). Dkt. 1. The United
States sought to enforce the writ to collect from the
Department as garnishee on the belief that:
[T]he Garnishee owes or will owe money or property to the
Defendant/Judgment Debtor's spouse, Terry Lynn Drapeau
(Mrs. Drapeau), or is in possession, custody or control of
property in which Mrs. Drapeau holds a substantial nonexempt
interest. Defendant/Judgment debtor has a presumptive
community property interest in all property and income
acquired by his spouse, Mrs. Drapeau, during their marriage.
at 2. On December 18, 2018, the Court entered an Order
authorizing the issuance of the writ, Dkt. 3, and on December
20, 2018, the Clerk of Court issued the writ, Dkt. 4.
December 20, 2018, the United States served the Department
with the writ and its associated pleadings by U.S. mail. Dkt.
6. On December 24, 2018, the Department received the writ by
mail. Dkt. 8 at 1.
January 3, 2019 the Department answered the writ, indicating
it had control over a teacher's retirement account
belonging to Mrs. Drapeau valued at $155, 000. Dkt. 8 at 3.
However, the Department objected to the service of the writ
and claimed property exemptions to the United States'
ability to collect Mrs. Drapeau's retirement benefits.
Id. at 6-10. The Department detailed its arguments
regarding service and collection in a legal memorandum
attached to its answer filed by the Washington State Attorney
General's Office. Id.
March 25 and 28, 2019, the United States re-served all
parties with the writ and related documents via personal
delivery by the United States Marshals Service. See
Dkts. 12 (the Department), 13 (the Washington State Office of
Attorney General), 14 (Mr. Drapeau), 15 (Mrs. Drapeau).
April 4, 2019, the Department filed additional objections.
Dkt. 11. In its April 4 pleading, the Department incorporated
its earlier objections, continued to contest service, and
asserted that the United States' attempt to cure service
by personal delivery of the writ failed because such service
fell outside the 90-day deadline for service of a complaint
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(m). Id.
Service of Writ
the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (“MVRA”),
18 U.S.C. § 3663A et seq., the United States
may enforce a criminal restitution order “in accordance
with its civil enforcement powers.” 18 U.S.C. §
3613(a). In turn, the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act
(“FDCPA”), 28 U.S.C. § 3001 et
seq., sets forth the civil enforcement procedures the
United States uses to recover restitution debts. 28 U.S.C.
§ 3001(a)(1); see also United States v. Mays,
430 F.3d 963, 965-66 (9th Cir. 2005) (FDCPA applies to United
States' collection of criminal restitution debts under
MVRA). As authorized by § 3613(a) of the MVRA, the
United States obtained the writ of garnishment under ...