Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Chapter 20. Attachments and Bail in Civil Cases

§ 8.01-540. Issuance of attachment; against what attachment to issue.

A judge of, or a magistrate serving, the court in which a petition for attachment is filed shall make an ex parte review of the petition. The judge or magistrate shall issue an attachment in accordance with the prayer of the petition only upon a determination that (i) there is reasonable cause to believe that grounds for attachment may exist and (ii) the petition complies with §§ 8.01-534, 8.01-537, and 8.01-538. The judge or magistrate may receive evidence only in the form of a sworn petition which shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the court. If the plaintiff seeks the recovery of specific personal property, the attachment may be (i) against such property and against the principal defendant's estate for so much as is sufficient to satisfy the probable damages for its detention or (ii) at the option of the plaintiff, against the principal defendant's estate for the value of the specific property and the damages for its detention. If the plaintiff seeks to recover a debt or damages for the breach of a contract, express or implied, or damages for a wrong, the attachment shall be against the principal defendant's estate for the amount specified in the petition as that which the plaintiff at the least is entitled to or ought to recover.

If the attachment is issued by a magistrate, it shall be returnable as prescribed by § 8.01-541. The magistrate shall promptly return to the clerk's office of the court to which the attachment is returnable the petition and the bond, if any, filed before him. The proceedings thereafter shall be the same as if the attachment had been issued by a judge.

Code 1950, § 8.526; 1954, c. 254; 1977, c. 617; 1984, c. 646; 1993, c. 841; 2008, cc. 551, 691.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.