Service of Process
Writ of Attachment
A writ of attachment is a form of
prejudgment process in which the court orders the seizure or attachment
of property specifically described in the writ. Such property is seized
and maintained in the custody of a designated official, usually the U.S.
Marshal, under order and supervision of the court. A writ of attachment
is commonly used by a plaintiff to secure a contingent lien on a
defendant's property in the event that the plaintiff obtains a judgment
against the defendant.
There are various types of attachments
including garnishment, sequestration and replevin.
The writ is normally limited to execution
within the state in which the district court is held unless extended by
federal statute, rule or court order.
The clerk of the U.S. District or Bankruptcy
Court issues a writ, under seal, at the request of a party, upon order
of a judge.
The writ is served by a U.S. Marshal or
another person, presumably a law enforcement officer, specially
appointed by the court under the
Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4.1(a).
Manner of Service
A U.S. Marshal will serve a writ according
to the instructions contained in it and in accordance with state law,
which governs procedures for attachment.
The requesting party may be ordered to
provide an indemnity bond and an advance deposit to cover the U.S.
Marshal's estimated out-of-pocket expenses.
The requesting party should accompany the
U.S. Marshal in executing the writ in case questions arise during the
execution. Generally, the U.S.
Marshal will maintain custody of the attached property under court
supervision. Alternatively, the requesting party may be named substitute
custodian for the U.S. Marshal and maintain direct responsibility for
custody of the attached property, either by court order or by written
agreement with the U.S. Marshal. If the requesting party has arranged
for moving or storage of the property, he or she must provide the U.S.
Marshal with written proof that the storage fees have been paid and
adequate insurance against loss or damage has been obtained as evidenced
by an insurance certificate. In addition, if the requesting party is
named substitute custodian, he or she must provide a custodian, and he
or she must provide the U.S. Marshal with a signed statement holding the
U.S. Marshal harmless for any damages incurred as a result of the
seizure while the property is in his or her custody.
The individual who effects service will
provide proof of service by recording on the writ a description of the
action taken according to the instructions contained in it.
Note: The information related to the service of
court process that is contained on this web site is general information
and not intended to be an exhaustive or definitive explanation or depiction
of Federal rules of procedures for the service of process.
Readers are directed to the Federal Rules of Criminal and
Civil Procedure; personal legal counsel; the United States Code, Titles 18 and 28;
U.S. Attorney's Office and District Court for
specific, authoritative guidance.