Florida man claims summons served across state lines; Seeks $3 million in punitives from FCB and Wells Fargo

By Kelly Holleran | Jun 20, 2013

A Florida man claims two Illinois banks illegally obtained more than $3,000 from his bank account to satisfy a portion of the more than $80,000 he owed them.

Jermaine Johnson filed a lawsuit June 18 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against First Collinsville Bank and Wells Fargo Bank.

In his complaint, Johnson alleges he owed First Collinsville Bank more than $80,000 as part of a mortgage foreclosure case that had been filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

In order to partially satisfy payment of the debt, First Collinsville issued a garnishment summons, which would have required any money held by Johnson to be applied toward the $80,000 settlement in the mortgage foreclosure, according to the complaint.

First Collinsville Bank had the summons served on Wells Fargo Bank in Florida on May 24. In turn, a Wells Fargo process server withdrew $3,590.39 from Johnson’s two accounts, the suit states.

Johnson claims the move was illegal because First Collinsville issued the summons across state lines.

“Illinois courts may not enforce Illinois judgments outside the state of Illinois,” the suit states. “If defendant First Collinsville Bank wished to serve a garnishment summons on a garnishee located in Florida, it was required to first register the Illinois judgment in Florida under the Florida Uniform Registration of Foreign Judgments Act, then request issuance of the garnishment summons, to be served in Florida, from the Florida court.”

Shortly after First Collinsville’s garnishment, Johnson visited Wells Fargo in an attempt to withdraw the money from his accounts, but was not allowed to do so, the complaint says.

Because of the banks’ actions, Johnson claims he has suffered extreme emotional and mental distress.

In addition to the money that was allegedly taken from him, Johnson seeks $150,000 in attorney’s fees, punitive damages of $3 million and court costs.

David M. Duree of David M. Duree and Associates in O’Fallon will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-295.

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