Black’s Law Dictionary defines attachment as:

“The act or process of taking, 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 . . . .”[1]

It defines attachment of property as:

“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. . . .”[2]

Several forms illustrate the form of writs of attachment:

California writ of attachment

MA writ of attachment

Federal bankruptcy court writ of attachment

DC writ of attachment (garnishment) – post judgment


[1] Black’s Law Dictionary (rev. 4th ed. 1968).

[2] Id.