This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).






Genick Bar-Meir,





North American Die Casting Association,



Filed ­­­August 26, 2003


Harten, Judge


Hennepin County District Court

File No. CT-02-13412


Genick Bar-Meir, 1107 16th Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (pro se appellant)


Dean Conrad Eyler, Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty & Bennett, P.A., 3400 City Center, 33 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for respondent)


            Considered and decided by Harten, Presiding Judge, Anderson, Judge, and Wright, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N




Appellant, a judgment debtor acting pro se, challenges the district court’s order allowing respondent, a judgment creditor, to garnish appellant’s bank account.  Because we see no error of law in the district court’s order, we affirm.



Respondent North American Die Casting Association counterclaimed in an action brought against it by appellant Genick Bar-Meir.[1]  The counterclaim resulted in a $125,000 judgment for respondent, plus an additional $10,583.16 in costs and attorney fees, all against appellant.  Appellant is unemployed and claims to have no income.  His son receives social security disability payments, and the family receives energy assistance for its heating bills.  

Respondent docketed the judgment in Hennepin County district court and began garnishment proceedings against a joint bank account that appellant has with his wife.  Of the $3,894.07 in the account, it is undisputed that $951.40 is from social security payments to appellant’s son and is not subject to garnishment.  Appellant moved to stop the garnishment.  The district court granted his motion as to the $951.40 but denied it as to the remainder of the account.  Appellant challenges the denial, arguing that his assets are exempt from garnishment and, in the alternative, that the joint account is exempt.



            The issues presented are questions of law.  This court reviews de novo the application of law to stipulated facts.  Morton Bldgs., Inc. v. Comm’r of Revenue, 488 N.W.2d 254, 257 (Minn. 1992).

            Appellant argues that his assets are exempt from garnishment because his family receives public assistance.  He bases this argument on Minn. Stat. § 550.37, subd. 14 (2002), providing that:

            All relief based on need, and the earnings or salary of a person who is a recipient of relief based on need, shall be exempt from all claims of creditors[.]  * * *  The burden of establishing that funds are exempt rests upon the debtor.


But appellant has made no attempt to prove that the funds respondent attempts to garnish are either relief based on need or appellant’s earnings or salary.  He has not met his burden of proving that those funds are exempt

            Appellant argues in the alternative that the funds are exempt because they were put into the account by his wife, not by himself. Again, he fails to meet his burden of proving that his wife deposited the funds: there is no evidence of who contributed to the account.   Because appellant has failed to meet his statutory burden of proving his claim that the funds in the account are exempt, respondent is entitled to proceed with garnishment pursuant to law.[2] 



[1] Appellant actually brought four actions against respondent; the other three were dismissed.

[2] It is unnecessary for us to decide a possible conflict between Minn. Stat. § 524.6-203 (2002) (joint account belongs to parties in proportion to net contributions by each party), and Park Enters., Inc. v. Trach, 233 Minn. 467, 467, 47 N.W.2d 194, 195 (1951) (joint account can be garnished for individual debt of one depositor).  Any conflict becomes irrelevant in the instant case because the burden remains with appellant to prove who contributed what to the account.  Appellant offered no evidence of this.