The Richmond Circuit Court case of Va. Builder's Supply, Inc. v. Brooks & Co. Gen Contractors Inc. serves as a good example of judicial recognition of the rights of judgment creditors in arbitration proceedings.
In Va. Builders, the creditor, a building supply company, issued a garnishment summons upon a general contractor for sums due from the general contractor to the judgment debtor, a subcontractor. The contracts between the contractor and the subcontractor, under which the judgment creditor sought to garnish the sums due the subcontractor, included clauses for mandatory arbitration. The garnishee sought arbitration after being served with the garnishment. The garnishee refused to allow the judgment creditor to participate. The garnishee received a garnishment award indicating that it owed the subcontractor no sums. The garnishee answered the garnishment that no sums were due. The Richmond General District Court agreed. The Richmond Circuit Court disagreed and sent the case back for further review. The Richmond Circuit Court reasoned that the garnishee should not be able to affect the potential funds due the judgment creditor while prohibiting the judgment creditor from participating in the proceedings.