Am. Nat'l Bank & Trust Co. of Michigan v. B.C. Modderman

In Am. Nat'l Bank & Trust Co. of Michigan v. B.C. Modderman, 37 Mich. App. 639, 195 N.W.2d 342, 342-43 (Mich. Ct. App. 1972), the plaintiff, American National Bank & Trust Company ("American National"), filed a complaint regarding a promissory note against the defendant--husband. The plaintiff requested the trial court to issue a writ of garnishment to the defendant's bank, First National Bank and Trust Company ("First National"). Id. at 343. Thereafter, the defendant's wife ("wife") averred that the First National accounts were jointly owned, and thereby, they were exempt from garnishment. Id. The trial court held a hearing, and found that although the wife testified regarding her major contributions to the accounts, the defendant only "asserted ownership of the accounts in controversy when it was to his advantage to do so." Id. at 344. Hence, the court ordered that the accounts be garnished. Id. at 343. On appeal, the Michigan Court of Appeals stated that the trial court properly used its discretion in determining whether the defendant's and his wife's testimonies were credible. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the trial court's ruling. Id. at 344.