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 act of distraining.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    The taking a personal chattel 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 or injury done by cattle. 3 Bl. Comm. 6, 7; Co. Litt. 47; Emig v. Cunningham, 62 Md. 460; Hard v. Nearing, 44 Barb. (N. Y.) 488; Owen v. Boyle, 22 Me. 61; Evans v. Lincoln Co., 204 Pa. 448, 54 Atl. 321. The taking of beasts or other personal property by way of pledge, to enforce the performance of something due from the party distrained upon. 3 Bl. Comm. 231. The taking of a defendant's goods, in order to compel an appearance in court. Id. 280 ; 3 Steph. Comm. 361, 363. The seizure of personal property to enforce payment of taxes, to be followed by its publlc sale lf the taxes are not voluntarily paid. Marshall v. Wadsworth, 64 N. H. 386, 10 Atl. 685. Also the thing taken by distraining, that which is seized to procure satisfaction. And in old Scotch law, a pledge taken by the sheriff from those attending fairs or markets, to secure their good behavior, and returnable to them at the close of the fair or market lf they had been guilty of no wrong.
    --Distress infinite. One that has no bounds with regard to its quantity, and may be repeated from time to time, until the stubbornness of the party is conquered. Such are distresses for fealty or suit of court, and for compelling jurors to attend. 3 Bl. C