This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Associated Bank, National Association,
as successor in interest to First Federal Capital Bank,
as successor in interest to First Federal Savings Bank
f/k/a First Federal Savings and Loan Association,
Joel Twaiten a/k/a Joel A. Twaiten,
Affirmed in part, remanded in part
Houston County District Court
File No. 28-C9-98-000355
Michael C. Glover, Jason E. Engkjer, Kalina, Wills, Gisvold & Clark, 6160 Summit Drive, Suite 560, Minneapolis, MN 55430 (for respondent)
Kenneth R. White, Law Office of Kenneth R. White,
Considered and decided by Shumaker, Presiding Judge; Peterson, Judge; and Ross, Judge.
Joel Twaiten appeals from two orders in a garnishment proceeding, arguing that the court erred in its first order by finding that some of his monthly disability income is not exempt from garnishment, and erred in its second order by finding that the first proceeding and order barred his exemption claim. We affirm the district court’s finding that Twaiten’s second claim was barred, but we remand for additional findings on the amount of income subject to garnishment and Twaiten’s reasonable and necessary needs.
In 1998 Associated Bank, then known as First Federal Savings Bank, filed a complaint against Joel Twaiten, alleging that Twaiten had not satisfied a judgment entered against him in 1989. The district court found that Twaiten owed the bank approximately $172,824.
In September 2005, Associated Bank sought to enforce the unpaid judgment by garnishing funds in Twaiten’s bank account. Twaiten objected to the garnishment, claiming that the funds were exempt because the account contained social-security and disability income that he needs to support himself and his wife. By affidavit, Twaiten stated that his monthly income includes $477 of social-security income and $4,000 of disability income. His wife also receives $198 of monthly social-security income. Twaiten averred that he and his wife receive no monthly income other than this $4,675 and own no other assets that could be used for support. Twaiten also claimed that their reasonable and necessary monthlyexpenses total $4,621.55. Associated Bank later produced evidence that Twaiten and his wife own multiple parcels of land, have a ten-percent stake in a partnership that owns real property, and hold title to 26 vehicles. The parties do not dispute that Twaiten’s social-security income is exempt from garnishment. In February 2006, the district court found that Twaiten failed to establish that he and his wife need the entire $4,000 per month of disability income to meet their reasonable living expenses. The court held that $2,000 of the monthly income is subject to garnishment.
the court issued its order, Associated Bank sought to levy the disability
policy to collect Twaiten’s monthly payments directly from the insurance
company because Twaiten had been removing money from his bank account. Twaiten again objected, this time claiming
that he is a resident of
appeals the February and June 2006 orders, arguing that the district court
applied the wrong legal standard and made unsupported findings on his
reasonable and necessary needs in the first proceeding and that the court erroneously
concluded that his claim for an exemption based on
D E C I S I O N
Bank argues that Twaiten’s appeal from the district court’s February 2006 order
is untimely because the order is effectively a judgment and therefore subject
to the same time limitations for appealing a judgment. See Minn.
R. Civ. App. P. 104.01, subd. 1 (requiring party to appeal judgment within 60
days after its entry). We have
consistently reviewed theappealabilityofordersingarnishmentproceedingsby treating the ordersasorders,and Associated Bank has
not provided persuasive legal support for its argument to treat the order as a
e.g., Last v. Last, 428 N.W.2d
483, 484 (Minn. App. 1988); Johnson Motor
Co., Inc. v. Cue, 352 N.W.2d 114, 115-16 (Minn. App. 1984), review denied (Minn. Oct. 11,
1984). The Minnesota Rules of Civil
Appellate Procedure designate which orders are appealable.
A party to a garnishment
proceeding who is aggrieved by an order or final judgment has a right to
creditor may seek a garnishment against a third party at any time after entry
of a judgment for money in a civil action.
amount exempted from garnishment as reasonably necessary is “an amount
sufficient to sustain basic needs, not related to [the debtor’s] former status
in society or the lifestyle to which he is accustomed.” In re
Schlee, 60 B.R. 524, 528 (Bankr. D.
The district court found that Twaiten’s disability policy has a current value of $393,728, and it held that $57,000 is exempt under section 550.37, subdivision 24. The court then looked to the $4,000 a month that Twaiten receives from the policy and found that retaining one-half would enable Twaiten to meet his and his wife’s reasonable needs. Twaiten raises two challenges to this finding. He argues first that the court applied the wrong legal standard when evaluating his needs and second that the court’s findings are unsupported by the record.
We first address Twaiten’s challenge to the district court’s legal standard. He contends that when the debtor is advanced in age, the court must consider his special needs. We disagree that this is a heightened standard. A bankruptcy court has commented that, when assessing the amount reasonably necessary for a retired debtor’s support, the court should consider the debtor’s basic needs while accounting for “the special needs that a retired and elderly debtor may claim.” Schlee, 60 B.R. at 528 (quotation omitted). But these considerations are in conjunction with other factors like age, health, and employment, that the court must consider as they relate to any debtor. Caselaw does not suggest that elderly status requires an additional analysis beyond the factors the court typically considers when evaluating whether a debtor can meet his basic needs. See Westinghouse Credit Corp. v. J. Reiter Sales, Inc., 443 N.W.2d 837, 840-41 (Minn. App. 1989) (evaluating debtor’s assets and alluding to his age only in stating that district court reasonably “conclude[d] that the basic retirement needs of [the debtor] and his wife would be met”). We emphasize that the district court appears to have appropriately considered Twaiten’s age, as evidenced by its finding that “[a]lthough both [Twaiten] and his wife are older, the [c]ourt does not believe that they need the entire $4,000 each month from the [p]olicy to meet their present and future needs.”
We next turn to the adequacy of the district court’s factual findings. Twaiten and his wife submitted several affidavits to the court stating that their joint income was $4,675 and that they have no other assets. Associated Bank submitted evidence that the Twaitens have many assets that they failed to disclose. The district court found that Twaiten had failed to show “why these significant assets are not available for his and his wife’s continued support.” The district court further found $3,242.05 of the Twaitens’ claimed monthly living expenses to be reasonable. The court included a footnote stating that it found several of the Twaitens’ claimed expenses to be excessive, and it deducted $1,379.50 from the amount submitted. But the court failed to state which expenses it found excessive.
with Twaiten that the court’s findings are inadequate to allow meaningful appellate
review, and we therefore remand for additional findings on the reasonableness
of Twaiten’s claimed necessary monthly expenses and his available assets. We are mindful that Twaiten has the burden of
establishing his needs and to support his argument with evidence. See
Estate of Jones by Blume v. Kvamme,
510 N.W.2d 6, 12 (
argues that the district court erroneously held that res judicata bars his claim
that the proceeds of his disability policy are exempt under
district court appropriately found that Twaiten’s second claim for an exemption
is barred. Twaiten argued that he is a
Affirmed in part, remanded in part.