A common-law right of landlord, now regulated by statute, to seize a tenant's goods and chattels in a nonjudicial proceeding to satisfy an arrears of rent. The taking of goods and chattels out of the possession of a wrong-doer into the custody of the party injured to procure a satisfaction for a wrong committed; as for non-payment of rent. The taking of personal property by way of pledge, to enforce the performance of something due from the party distrained upon. Hall v. Marshall, 145 Or. 221, 27 P.2d 193.
The taking of a defendant's goods, in order to compel an appearance in court. Certain state statutes, insofar as they authorize distress for rents by landlords, have been held to be unconstitutional.
See e.g. Van Ness Industries v. Claremont Painting, 129 N.J.Super. 507, 324 A.2d 102.
The seizure of personal property to enforce payment of taxes, to be followed by its public sale if the taxes are not voluntarily paid; also the thing taken by distraining, i.e. that which is seized to procure satisfaction.
@ distress infinite
At common law, one that had no bounds with regard to its quantity, and could be repeated from time to time, until the stubbornness of the party was conquered. Such were distresses for realty or suit of court, and for compelling jurors to attend. 3 Bl.Comm. 231
@ distress warrant
A writ authorizing an officer to make a distraint; particularly, a writ authorizing the levy of a distress on the chattels of a tenant for non-payment of rent. A power of attorney by which landlord delegates exercise of his right to his duly authorized agent. In re Koizim, D.C.N.J., 52 F.Supp. 357, 358.
@ grand distress, writ of
@ writ of grand distress
A writ formerly issued in England in the real action of quare impedit, when no appearance had been entered after the attachment; it commanded the sheriff to distrain the defendant's lands and chattels in order to compel appearance. It is no longer used, 23 & 24 Viet., c. 126, No. 26, having abolished the action of quare impedit, and substituted for it the procedure in an ordinary action.
@ second distress
A supplementary distress for rent in arrear, allowed by law in some cases, where the goods seized under the first distress are not of sufficient value to satisfy the claim
@ distress and danger
The "distress" and "danger" to which a ship needs to be exposed to entitle its rescuer to salvage need not be actual or immediate, or the danger imminent and absolute. It is sufficient if at the time the assistance is rendered, the ship has encountered any damage or misfortune which might possibly expose her to destruction if the services were not rendered, or if a vessel is in a situation of actual apprehension though not of actual danger

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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