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Preliminary legal seizure of property to force compliance with a decision which may be obtained in a pending suit.
Crim. Law, Practice. A writ requiring a sheriff to apprehend a particular person, who has been guilty of. a contempt of court, and to bring the offender before the court.
It may be awarded by the court upon a bare suggestion, though generally an oath stating what contempt has been committed is required, or on their own knowledge without indictment or information. An attachment may be issued against officers of the court for disobedience or contempt of their rules and orders, for disobedience of their process, and for disturbing them in their lawful proceedings. in the nature of a civil execution, and it was therefore held it could not be executed on Sunday; yet, in. one case, it was decided, that it was so far criminal, that it could not be granted in England on the affirmation of a Quaker.
Remedies. A writ issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, commanding the sheriff or other proper officer to seize any property; credit, or right, belonging to the defendant, in whatever hands the same may be found, to satisfy the demand which the plaintiff has against him.
This writ always issues before judgment, and is intended to compel an appearance in this respect it differs from an execution. In some of the states this process can be issued only against absconding debtors, or those who conceal themselves; in others it is issued in the first instance, so that the property attached may respond to the exigency of the writ, and satisfy the judgment.