Reviewed by Annapoorna | Updated on Jan 05, 2022


What is Attachment?

Attachment is used in law referring to the action of seizing property on predicting a favourable judgment for a plaintiff who claims to have lent money to the defendant.

Attachment is an initial procedure where the property is captured before a final judgment is delivered. It can be an unwarranted seizure if the court ruling favours the defendant. Attachment may be depended upon as a provisional remedy to the plaintiff.

Usually, real estate properties, vehicles, and bank accounts are seized in particular situations. It applies if there is a high probability of plaintiff winning the case, or the defendant will run away without settling a court order.

For instance, a judge may pass an order to seize the bank assets of a defendant to avoid them from transferring the bank balance to their offshore accounts. Alternatively, the judge can pass an order that devoids the defendant from moving the ownership of property outside the court's jurisdiction. A defendant may try to sell their property, preventing the plaintiff from claiming it in court.

Application of Attachment in Courts

Attachments are applied in various types of civil cases. For instance, disputable divorce proceedings may raise issues that one party may plea for removal of their assets from the court's authority. In another example, the defendant accused of fraud may attempt to transfer control or ownership of their assets, leaving the plaintiff with no options of relief.

Attachment originated as one of the ways to compel a defendant to come before the judge and respond to the allegations brought against them. The process has expanded over time offering specific provisional remedies to plaintiff allowing courts to exercise jurisdiction over the property, as permitted by law.

A court may base their opinion for attachment on the reasons, such as the defendant conducting business in the state. The defendant, who is a resident of the state, is involved in the act of wrongful doings in such state.

Various legislations refer to the Code of Civil Procedure. The Code of Civil Procedure, 1973 defines the scope of attachment in case a civil suit is initiated against an individual who causes some harm or wrongful act to the plaintiff.

It begins with the court executing a decree in a civil suit where the decree-holder (plaintiff) is given one of the four options. Attachment of property is one of the many modes of execution applied by the court of justice. Others include the arrest of defendant and delivery or sale of the property.

The court orders the defendant to pay compensation to the decree-holder. In the case of the defendant's failure, the court will call for attachment of movable or immovable assets of the defendant.

The court at the request and benefit of the decree-holder/creditor assigns or liens a specific property belonging to the debtor to be transferred to the creditor or sold.

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