The method of levy for personal property in the possession of the
debtor is by seizure. If the debtor has a business, the placement of
a keeper in the debtors business for an 8-hour period is a
relatively inexpensive form of seizure. A deputy sheriff performs
the levy by placing a keeper (custodian) in the debtors business
for an 8-hour period. During that time, the keeper seizes incoming
cash and checks from the sale of merchandise. A cash-only keeper
levy differs from a standard keeper levy in that only sale proceeds
are levied upon, not the debtors inventory and equipment.
The debtor may claim the levied property as exempt if the debtor
is an individual (not a corporation, partnership, etc.) If an
exemption is filed, the Sheriff will mail a copy of the claim and
instructions for opposing the exemption to the creditor.
Property belonging to the debtor that is not in the possession of
the debtor must be garnished and cannot be seized. A keeper levy
cannot be made if the Sheriff determines that the business is not in
the possession of the debtor. For example, a keeper may be installed
at A1-Auto, a corporation, if the writ lists the debtor as A-1 Auto,
a corporation. However, if the writ only lists John Smith, an
individual (who is also President of the corporation) as the debtor,
a keeper cannot be placed because the corporation is not a named
debtor. The wages owed to John Smith by the corporation must be
levied by garnishment (earnings withholding order.)
If the debtor is an artificial person (corporation, partnership,
etc.), the writ must include the debtors legal entity, e.g., A-1
Auto, a corporation or Acme Sales, a partnership. The Sheriff cannot
enforce a writ that does not list the debtors legal entity. A
"dba" (doing business as) is not a legal entity. For
example, A-1 Auto dba A-1 Auto Parts does not list the legal entity.
But, A-1 Auto, a corporation, dba A-1 Auto Parts is acceptable.