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An attachment is a court order seizing specific property. Attachment is used both as a pre-trial provisional remedy and to enforce a final judgment

Sometimes, courts attach a defendant's property as a provisional remedy to prevent the defendant from making herself judgment-proof by liquidating the property and/or transferring assets outside the jurisdiction of US courts. For example, a court might attach part of a defendant's bank account to prevent her from transferring all of her money to an off-shore account. In all but the most exceptional cases, courts must hold a hearing and follow other procedural safeguards before ordering attachment as a provisional remedy. Oftentimes, plaintiffs seeking attachment must offer up a cash bond to ensure that they will return the defendant’s property post-trial if the plaintiff does not win their lawsuit.  

Courts often attach debtors' property to help pay their creditors, either by directly transferring the property to the creditors, or by selling it and giving the creditors the proceeds. 

See: Debtor and Creditor Law.

Quasi in rem subtype 2 jurisdiction is sometimes called "attachment jurisdiction." 

[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team