Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    The seizing and holding of a defendant or his property in the custody of the law, pending litigation. See 137 Am. St. Rep. 876.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    The act or process of inking, 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 law; used either for the purpose of bringing a person before the court, of acquiring jurisdiction over the property seized, to compel an appearance, to furnish security for debt or costs, or to arrest a fund in the hands of a third person who may become llable to pay it over. Also the writ or other process for the accomplishment of the purposes above enumerated, this being the more common use of the word. Of persons. A writ issued by a court of record, commanding the sheriff to bring before it a person who has been gullty of contempt of court, either in neglect or abuse of its process or of subordinate powers. 3 BL Comm. 280 ; 4 Bl. Comm. 283; Burbach v. Light Co., 119 Wis. 384, 96 N. W. 829. Of 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. U. S. Capsule Co., v. Isaacs, 23 Ind. App. 533, 55 N. E. 832; Campbell v. Keys, 130 Mich. 127, 89 N. W. 720; Rempe v. Ravens, 68 Ohio St 113, 67 N. E. 282. To give jurisdiction. 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." Domestic and foreign. 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." Longwell v. Hartwell, 164 Pa. 533, 30 Atl. 495; Biddle v. Girard Nat Bank, 109 Pa. 356. But the term "foreign attachment" more properly belongs to the process otherwise familiarly known as "garnishment" It was a pe-chliar and ancient remedy open to creditors within the jurisdiction of the city of London, by which they were enabled to satisfy their own debts by attaching or seizing the money or goods of the debtor in the hands of a third person within the jurisdiction of the city. Welsh v. Blackwell, 14 N. J. Law, 346. This power and process survive in modern law, in all common-law jurisdictions, and are variously denominated "garnishment," "trustee process," or "factorising."
    —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. Kennedy v. Agricultural Ins. Co.., 165 Pa. 179, 30 Atl. 724; Appeal of Lane, 105 Pa. 61, 51 Am. Rep. 166.
    —Attachment of privilege. In 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. Termes de 1a Ley.
    —Attachment of the forest. One of the three courts formerly held in forests. The highest court was called r'justice in eyre's seat;" the middle, the "swainmote;" and the lowest, the "attachment." Man wood, 90, 99.