The legal process of seizing another's property in accordance with a writ or judicial order for the purpose of securing satisfaction of a judgment yet to be rendered. The act or process of taking, apprehending, or seizing persons or property, by virtue of a writ, summons, or other judicial order, and bringing the same into the custody of the court for the purpose of securing satisfaction of the judgment ultimately to be entered in the action.
While formerly the main objective of attachment was to coerce the defendant debtor to appear in court by seizer of his property, today the writ of attachment is used primarily to seize the debtor's property in order to secure the debt or claim of the creditor in the event that a judgment is rendered. The remedy of attachment is governed strictly by state statutes, with such differing considerably as to when attachment is available (the majority of states providing that such is available at or after the commencement of the main action until entry of judgment). Federal courts follow the local rules or statutes relating to attachment. Fed. RCivil P. 64.
A remedy ancillary to an action by which plaintiff is enabled to acquire a lien upon property or effects of defendant for satisfaction of judgment which plaintiff may obtain. Lipscomb v. Rankin, C.C.A.Tex., 139 S.W.2d 367, 369.
See also execution
- lien of attachment.
Commercial law.
When the three basic prerequisites of a security interest exist (agreement, value, and collateral), the security agreement becomes enforceable between the parties and is said to "attach." U.C.C. No. 9-203. Distinguished from execution.
@ domestic attachment
@ foreign attachment
@ domestic and foreign attachment
Domestic and foreign attachment. In some jurisdictions it is common to give the name "domestic attachment" to one issuing against a resident debtor (upon the special ground of fraud, intention to abscond, etc.), and to designate an attachment against a non-resident, or his property, as "foreign." Where the defendant is a non-resident, or beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the court, his goods or land within the territory may be seized upon process of attachment; whereby he will be compelled to enter an appearance, or the court acquires jurisdiction so far as to dispose of the property attached. This is sometimes called "foreign attachment." In such a case, the proceeding becomes in substance one in rem against the attached property.
See also attachment
A writ issued by a court of record, commanding the sheriff to bring before it a person who has been guilty of contempt of court, either in neglect or abuse of its process or of subordinate powers. A capias (q.v.).
Property. A species of mesne process, by which a writ is issued at the institution or during the progress of an action, commanding the sheriff to seize the property, rights, credits, or effects of the defendant to be held as security for the satisfaction of such judgment as the plaintiff may recover. It is principally used against absconding, concealed, or fraudulent debtors. Mass.R. Civil P. 4.1
@ attachment bond
A bond used to dissolve an attachment so as to free the property subject to the attachment for sale or other disposition; may be surety company bond or personal bond with sureties. Plaintiff then looks to bond for satisfaction of his judgment
@ attachment execution
A name given in some states to a process of garnishment for the satisfaction of a judgment. As to the judgment debtor it is an execution; but as to the garnishee it is an original process-a summons commanding him to appear and show cause, if any he has, why the judgment should not be levied on the goods and effects of the defendant in his hands
@ attachment of privilege
In old English law, a process by which a man, by virtue of his privilege, calls another to litigate in that court to which he himself belongs, and who has the privilege to answer there. A writ issued to apprehend a person in a privileged place
@ attachment of risk
Used to describe point in time, generally when title passes, when risk of loss for destruction of property which is subject of sale passes to buyer from seller. U.C.C. No. 2-509
@ attachment of the forest
In old English law, one of the three courts formerly held in forests. The highest court was called "justice in eyre's seat;" the middle, the "swainmote;" and the lowest, the "attachment."

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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