Mervyn's, Inc. v. Superior Court In and For Maricopa County

In Mervyn's, Inc. v. Superior Court In and For Maricopa County, 144 Ariz. 297, 697 P.2d 690, 691 (Ariz. 1985), the plaintiff--company filed an action against the defendant--trial court when it denied its motion for judgment. The plaintiff obtained a judgment against the debtor--wife ("debtor") for approximately $340.00. Id. at 692. The plaintiff requested a writ of garnishment to be issued to the debtor's bank, Valley National Bank ("Valley National"). Id. Valley National indicated that the debtor owned an account that she shared with her husband ("husband"). Id. To "join all persons who appeared to have an interest in the bank account . . . ," the plaintiff attempted to deliver notification to the husband. Id. However, it could not, so it provided service by publication. Id. The trial court determined that "'service by publication was insufficient to give the husband notice and an opportunity to be heard.'" Id. at 694. Consequently, the court did not order judgment against Valley National. Id. at 692. Via a special action, the Arizona Supreme Court decided to rule on the issue. See id. The Court examined its statute regarding garnishment of joint accounts, but the statute did not provide for notification to non-debtors. Id. Thus, the Court considered its rules on civil procedure, which stated: 4(e)(3) Summons: service by publication. Where by law personal service is not required, and a person is subject to service . . ., such service may be made by either of the methods set forth in another provision or by publication. Id. at 693. Accordingly, the Court concluded that the trial court erred because due process did not require personal service. Id. at 694.