Claiming exemptions — Form — Hearing — Attorney's fees — Costs — Release of funds or property.
(1) A defendant may claim exemptions from garnishment in the manner specified by the statute that creates the exemption or by delivering to or mailing by first-class mail to the clerk of the court out of which the writ was issued a declaration in substantially the following form or in the form set forth in RCW 6.27.140 and mailing a copy of the form by first-class mail to the plaintiff or plaintiff's attorney at the address shown on the writ of garnishment, all not later than twenty-eight days after the date stated on the writ except that the time shall be extended to allow a declaration mailed or delivered to the clerk within twenty-one days after service of the writ on the garnishee if service on the garnishee is delayed more than seven days after the date of the writ.
(2) A plaintiff who wishes to object to an exemption claim must, not later than seven days after receipt of the claim, cause to be delivered or mailed to the defendant by first-class mail, to the address shown on the exemption claim, a declaration by self, attorney, or agent, alleging the facts on which the objection is based, together with notice of date, time, and place of a hearing on the objection, which hearing the plaintiff must cause to be noted for a hearing date not later than fourteen days after the receipt of the claim. After a hearing on an objection to an exemption claim, the court shall award costs to the prevailing party and may also award an attorney's fee to the prevailing party if the court concludes that the exemption claim or the objection to the claim was not made in good faith. The defendant bears the burden of proving any claimed exemption, including the obligation to provide sufficient documentation to identify the source and amount of any claimed exempt funds.
(3) If the plaintiff elects not to object to the claim of exemption, the plaintiff shall, not later than ten days after receipt of the claim, obtain from the court and deliver to the garnishee an order directing the garnishee to release such part of the debt, property, or effects as is covered by the exemption claim. If the plaintiff fails to obtain and deliver the order as required or otherwise to effect release of the exempt funds or property, the defendant shall be entitled to recover fifty dollars from the plaintiff, in addition to actual damages suffered by the defendant from the failure to release the exempt property. The attorney of record for the plaintiff may, as an alternative to obtaining a court order releasing exempt funds, property, or effects, deliver to the garnishee and file with the court an authorization to release claimed exempt funds, property, or effects, signed by the attorney, in substantially the following form:
[2003 c 222 § 7; 2002 c 265 § 3; 1988 c 231 § 28; 1987 c 442 § 1016.]
| Severability -- 1988 c 231: See note following RCW 6.01.050.|