Attachment Law & Legal Definition


Attachment in legal terminology means a preliminary legal seizure of property to force compliance with a decision which may be obtained in a pending suit. Before a final judgment is issued, the court may order 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 claim which the plaintiff has against him. In some states, an order of attachment can only be issued when a debtor is shown to be fleeing or concealing themselves from the legal process, so that the attached property can satisfy a judgment that may be awarded in the complainant's favor. In criminal law practice, it may refer to 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.

In family law cases in Texas, a writ of attachment is a court order to a sheriff or constable in the state of Texas to physically remove a child from one person and deliver the child to another. They are used when one person is refusing to comply with a court order to return the child to another party, refusing visitation rights, or when the party withholding the child is endangering the child. The person seeking the writ applies to the court where the original order was made and must pay any applicable filing fees.