What Is a Prejudgment Writ of Attachment? – San Diego Litigation Attorney
A writ of attachment is a court order allowing a creditor to seize property of a defendant in litigation. Oftentimes, a plaintiff in a civil suit will attempt to obtain a writ of attachment prior to obtaining a judgment against a defendant. California Code of Civil Procedure §483.010 outlines when an attachment is authorized. The statute generally states that an attachment may be ordered if the claim sued upon is (i) a claim for money based upon contract; (ii) of a fixed or readily ascertainable amount not less than $500; (iii) that is either unsecured or, if it is secured, then secured by personal property; and (iv) that is a commercial claim.
A defendant in a civil suit may oppose the attachment based on any of the elements above. For instance, a defendant may argue that a plaintiff is not entitled to a prejudgment writ of attachment because the claim sued upon is not “commercial” in nature. Additionally, certain property is actually exempt from attachment. In order to ascertain whether you have any grounds to oppose a prejudgment writ of attachment, it may be best to consult an attorney.
It is also worth mentioning that a plaintiff is generally required to provide an undertaking (i.e., a bond) as a condition to the issuance of a prejudgment writ of attachment. A defendant may object as to the amount of the undertaking required.