Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Chapter 20. Attachments and Bail in Civil Cases
11/28/2021

Chapter 20. Attachments and Bail in Civil Cases.

Article 1. Attachments Generally.

§ 8.01-533. Who may sue out attachment.

If any person has a claim, legal or equitable, to (i) any specific personal property, (ii) any debt, including rent, whether the debt is due and payable or not, (iii) damages for breach of any contract, express or implied, or (iv) damages for a wrong, or for a judgment for which no supersedeas or other appeal bond has been posted, he may sue out an attachment therefor on any one or more of the grounds stated in § 8.01-534. However, if the claim is for a debt not due and payable, no attachment shall be sued out when the only ground for the attachment is that the defendant or one of the defendants is a foreign corporation, or is not a resident of this Commonwealth, and has estate or debts owing to him within this Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 8-519; 1954, c. 333; 1977, c. 617; 1986, c. 341; 1993, c. 841.

§ 8.01-534. Grounds of action for pretrial levy or seizure of attachment.

A. It shall be sufficient ground for an action for pretrial levy or seizure or an attachment that the principal defendant or one of the principal defendants:

1. Is a foreign corporation, or is not a resident of this Commonwealth, and has estate or has debts owing to such defendant within the county or city in which the attachment is, or that such defendant being a nonresident of this Commonwealth, is entitled to the benefit of any lien, legal or equitable, on property, real or personal, within the county or city in which the attachment is. The word "estate," as herein used, includes all rights or interests of a pecuniary nature which can be protected, enforced, or proceeded against in courts of law or equity;

2. Is removing or is about to remove himself out of this Commonwealth with intent to change his domicile;

3. Intends to remove, or is removing, or has removed the specific property sued for, or his own estate, or the proceeds of the sale of his property, or a material part of such estate or proceeds, out of this Commonwealth so that there will probably not be therein effects of such debtor sufficient to satisfy the claim when judgment is obtained therefor should only the ordinary process of law be used to obtain the judgment;

4. Is converting, is about to convert or has converted his property of whatever kind, or some part thereof, into money, securities or evidences of debt with intent to hinder, delay, or defraud his creditors;

5. Has assigned or disposed of or is about to assign or dispose of his estate, or some part thereof, with intent to hinder, delay or defraud his creditors;

6. Has absconded or is about to abscond or has concealed or is about to conceal himself or his property to the injury of his creditors, or is a fugitive from justice.

The intent mentioned in subdivisions 4 and 5 above may be stated either in the alternative or conjunctive.

B. It shall be sufficient ground for an action for pretrial levy or seizure or an attachment if the specific personal property sought to be levied or seized:

1. Will be sold, removed, secreted or otherwise disposed of by the defendant, in violation of an obligation to the plaintiff, so as not to be forthcoming to answer the final judgment of the court respecting the same; or

2. Will be destroyed, or materially damaged or injured if permitted to remain in the possession of the principal defendant or one of the principal defendants or other person or persons claiming under them.

C. In an action for rent, it also shall be a sufficient ground if there is an immediate danger that the property subject to the landlord's lien for rent will be destroyed or concealed.

Code 1950, § 8-520; 1954, c. 333; 1977, c. 617; 1993, c. 841.

§ 8.01-535. Jurisdiction of attachments; trial or hearing of issues.

Except as provided in § 16.1-77 the jurisdiction of attachments under this chapter shall be in the circuit courts. The trial or hearing of the issues, except as otherwise provided, shall be the same, as near as may be, as in actions in personam.

Code 1950, § 8-521; 1954, c. 333; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-536. Pleadings in attachment.

No pleading on behalf of the plaintiff shall be necessary except the petition mentioned in § 8.01-537. The principal defendant, and any other defendant who seeks to defeat the petitioner's attachment, may demur to the petition, issue on which demurrer shall be deemed to be joined; but if such demurrer be overruled, such defendant shall answer the petition in writing. No replication shall be necessary to such answer. The answer shall be sworn to by such defendant, or his agent. Any other defendant may answer the petition, under oath, and the cause shall be deemed at issue as to him, if he denies any of the allegations of the petition, without any replication. Answers under this section shall not have the effect of evidence for the defendant.

Code 1950, § 8-523; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-537. Petition for attachment; costs, fees and taxes.

A. Every attachment shall be commenced by a petition filed before a clerk of a circuit or general district court of, or magistrate serving, the county or city in which venue is given by subdivision 11 of § 8.01-261. If it is sought to recover specific personal property, the petition shall state (i) the kind, quantity, and estimated fair market value thereof, (ii) the character of estate therein claimed by the plaintiff, (iii) the plaintiff's claim with such certainty as will give the adverse party reasonable notice of the true nature of the claim and the particulars thereof and (iv) what sum, if any, the plaintiff claims an entitlement to recover for its detention. If it is sought to recover a debt or damages for a breach of contract, express or implied, or damages for a wrong, the petition shall set forth (i) the plaintiff's claim with such certainty as will give the adverse party reasonable notice of the true nature of the claim and the particulars thereof, (ii) a sum certain which, at the least, the plaintiff is entitled to, or ought to recover, and (iii) if based on a contract and if the claim is for a debt not then due and payable, at what time or times the same will become due and payable. The petition shall also allege the existence of one or more of the grounds mentioned in § 8.01-534, and shall set forth specific facts in support of the allegation. The petition shall ask for an attachment against the specific personal property mentioned in the petition, or against the estate, real and personal, of one or more of the principal defendants, or against the estate, real and personal, of one or more of the principal defendants, or against both the specific personal property and the estate of such defendants, real or personal. The petition shall state whether the officer is requested to take possession of the attached tangible personal property. The petition shall be sworn to by the plaintiff or the plaintiff's agent, or some other person cognizant of the facts therein stated.

B. The plaintiff praying for an attachment shall, at the time the petition is filed, pay to the magistrate or clerk of the court to which the return is made the proper costs, fees and taxes, and in the event the plaintiff fails to do so, the attachment shall not be issued.

Code 1950, §§ 8-524, 8-528; 1954, cc. 333, 622; 1973, c. 545; 1977, c. 617; 1978, c. 418; 1984, c. 646; 1993, c. 841; 2008, cc. 551, 691; 2015, c. 639.

§ 8.01-537.1. Plaintiff to file bond.

A. The plaintiff or someone for him shall, at the time of suing out an attachment or other pretrial levy or seizure, give bond. The fact that bond has been given shall be endorsed on the process, or certified by the clerk to the serving officer. If certified by the clerk, the serving officer shall return the certificate with the process. The bond shall be a bond with approved surety, a cash bond or a property bond.

B. If the plaintiff seeks only pretrial levy on property and a bond with approved surety or cash bond is posted, the amount of the bond shall be at least the estimated fair market value of the property to be levied. If a property bond is posted, the amount of the bond shall be at least double the estimated fair market value of the property to be levied.

C. If the plaintiff seeks pretrial seizure of property, the amount of the bond shall be at least double the estimated fair market value of the property to be seized.

D. The bond shall contain a condition to pay all costs and damages which may be awarded against the plaintiff, or sustained by any person, by reason of a wrongful levy or seizure.

1984, c. 646; 1993, c. 841.

§ 8.01-538. Attachment of ships, boats and other vessels of more than twenty tons.

No attachment against any ship, boat, or other vessel of more than twenty tons, shall issue unless the plaintiff or someone in his behalf, shall first establish, to the satisfaction of the court in which he files his petition for attachment that he has a reasonable expectation of recovering an amount exclusive of all costs, equal to at least one-half the damages demanded in the petition for attachment. Reasonable notice of appearance before the court shall be given the owner, agent or master of said vessel, and at the time of the appearance the court shall determine the amount of such reasonable expectation of recovery and the amount of bond necessary to secure the release of the vessel if and when a writ be levied in accordance with this section.

No attachment issued in violation of the provisions of this section shall create a valid lien upon the property sought to be attached, and no levy made under authority thereof shall be of any effect.

Code 1950, § 8-524.1; 1954, c. 254; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-539. Who made defendants.

A person against whom the plaintiff is asserting the claim shall be made a defendant to the petition, and shall be known as a principal defendant. There shall also be made a defendant any person indebted to or having in his possession property, real or personal, belonging to a principal defendant, which is sought to be attached. There may also be made a defendant any person claiming title to, and interest in, or a lien upon the property sought to be attached. A defendant, other than a principal defendant, shall be known as a codefendant.

Code 1950, § 8-525; 1977, c. 617.

§ 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.

§ 8.01-541. To whom attachments directed; when and where returned.

Any attachment issued under this chapter may be directed to the sheriff of any county or city. Except when otherwise provided, it shall be returnable to the office of the clerk of court wherein the petition has been filed not more than thirty days from its date of issuance.

Code 1950, § 8-527; 1954, c. 333; 1977, c. 617; 1993, c. 841.

§ 8.01-542. Issue and execution of attachment on any day.

Such attachment may be issued or executed on any day, including a Sunday or holiday.

Code 1950, § 8-529; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-543. Issue of other attachments on original petition.

Upon the written application of the plaintiff, his agent or attorney, other attachments founded on the original petition may be issued from time to time by the clerk of the court in which the original attachment is pending, and the same may be directed, executed, and returned in like manner as an original attachment. However, the clerk shall not issue an attachment where new or additional grounds of attachment are relied upon or where any ship, boat or vessel of more than twenty tons is sought to be attached.

If new or additional grounds of attachment are relied on, the plaintiff may amend his petition in accordance with Rule of Court 1:8 according to the facts and swear to the same. Except as otherwise provided in this section, an additional attachment as prayed for shall be issued by a judge or magistrate only upon his determination that (i) there is reasonable cause to believe that the grounds for attachment may exist and (ii) that the amended petition complies with §§ 8.01-534 and 8.01-537. Where any ship, boat, or other vessel of more than twenty tons is sought to be attached, a judge or magistrate shall issue the additional attachment only on his determination that § 8.01-538 has been complied with. The cause shall proceed, under the provisions of this chapter, upon the petition as amended.

The court shall adjudge the costs of such attachments as it deems proper.

The following, or its equivalent, shall be a sufficient form of application for an additional attachment:

To A.B., clerk of the __________ court of __________ county (or city): In the case of __________ v. __________, on an attachment, an additional attachment and summons is requested to be issued against __________ X.Y. (or X.Y. by H., attorney or agent, as the case may be).

Code 1950, § 8-530; 1977, c. 617; 1984, c. 646.

§ 8.01-544. When attachment not served other attachments may issue; order of publication.

When an attachment is returned not served on a principal defendant, whether levied on property or not, further attachments and summonses may be issued until service is obtained on him, if he be a resident of the Commonwealth. If for any cause service cannot be had in the Commonwealth, upon affidavit of that fact, an order of publication shall be made against him.

Code 1950, § 8-531; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-545. Amendments; formal defects.

Such amendments shall be allowed of the petition, answer and of any of the other proceedings in the attachment as shall be conducive to the attainment of the ends of substantial justice, and upon such terms as to continuance and costs as may seem proper. An amendment when made shall as against the principal defendant and as to claims against him existing at the time the attachment was issued relate back to the time of the levy of the attachment, unless otherwise directed. No attachment shall be quashed or dismissed for mere formal defects.

Code 1950, § 8-532; 1977, c. 617.

Article 2. Summons; Levy; Lien; Bonds, Etc.

§ 8.01-546. What attachment to command; summons.

Every attachment sued out against specific personal property shall command the sheriff or other officer to whom it may be directed to attach the specific property claimed in the petition, and so much more of the real and personal property of the principal defendant as shall be necessary to cover the damages for the detention of the specific property sued for and the costs of the attachment. Every other attachment shall command the sheriff or other officer to whom it may be directed to attach the property mentioned and sought to be attached in the petition, if any, and so much of the lands, tenements, goods, chattels, moneys and effects of the principal defendant not exempt from execution as will be sufficient to satisfy the plaintiff's demand, and, in case of tangible personal property, taken possession of under § 8.01-551, to keep the same safely in his possession to satisfy any judgment that may be recovered by the plaintiff in such attachment.

Every attachment sued out under this section shall also command the sheriff or other officer to summon the defendant or defendants, if he or they are found within his county or city, or any county or city wherein he may have seized property under and by virtue of such writ, to appear and answer the petition for the attachment.

Each copy of the summons shall be issued together with a form for requesting a hearing on a claim of exemption from levy or seizure as provided in § 8.01-546.1. Both documents shall be served on each defendant.

Code 1950, § 8-533; 1977, c. 617; 1986, c. 341.

§ 8.01-546.1. Exemption claims form.

The form for requesting a hearing or a claim for exemption from levy or seizure shall be designed by the Supreme Court and provided to all courts which may issue attachments and to all magistrates.

1986, c. 341.

§ 8.01-546.2. Hearing on claim of exemption from levy or seizure.

A judgment debtor shall have the right to a hearing on his claim of exemption from levy or seizure. If a defendant files a request for a hearing, the clerk shall (i) schedule a hearing no later than ten business days from the date that the request is filed with the court, and (ii) notify the parties of the date, time and place of hearing and the exemption being claimed. This hearing may be combined with a hearing pursuant to § 8.01-119 or § 8.01-568 or with a trial on the merits if held within the ten-business day limitation.

The clerk shall notify the parties and the sheriff of the date, time and place of hearing and the exemption being claimed. The court may stay the sale pending this hearing by interlocutory order. The sheriff shall comply with the writ unless and until ordered otherwise in writing by the court. The order shall take effect upon receipt by the sheriff. The clerk is required to provide a copy of the order or the hearing disposition to the sheriff only if the writ or levy is dismissed or is modified by the judge. The court shall release all exempt property from the judgment creditor's lien and order the sheriff to return such exempt property to the judgment debtor.

1986, c. 341.

§ 8.01-547. Attachment against remainders.

If the attachment be against a principal defendant who is a nonresident or an absconding debtor, the attachment may also direct the sheriff or other officer to levy the same on any remainder, vested or contingent, of the principal defendant, or so much thereof as may be sufficient to pay the amount for which it issues. But no such remainder shall be sold until it becomes vested. A judgment, however, ascertaining the amount due the plaintiff may be docketed as other judgments are docketed, but unless it be a personal judgment, it shall be a lien only on the property levied on.

Code 1950, § 8-534; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-548. Who may levy attachment and on what.

An attachment may be levied upon any estate of the defendant, whether the same be in the county or city in which the attachment issued, or in any other, either by the officer of the county or city wherein the attachment issued, or by the officer of the county or city where the estate is.

Code 1950, § 8-535; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-549. Restraining order or receiver.

The court may interpose by a restraining order, or the appointment of a receiver, or otherwise, to secure the forthcoming of the specific property sued for, and so much other estate as will probably be required to satisfy any further order that may be made in the proceedings.

Code 1950, § 8-536; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-550. How attachment levied.

An attachment may be levied as follows:

On tangible personal property in possession of a principal defendant, whether such possession be actual or constructive, it may be levied as at common law or by delivering a copy of the attachment to such principal defendant or, if possession is requested in the petition, then by taking possession of such personal property;

On choses in action or on tangible personal property in possession of any defendant other than the principal defendant, it may be levied by delivering a copy of the attachment to the person indebted to the principal defendant or having possession of the property belonging to him; and

On real estate, it may be levied by such estate being mentioned and described in an endorsement on the attachment by the officer to whom it is delivered for service to the following effect:

"Levied on the following real estate of the defendant A. (or defendants A.
and B.), to-wit: (here describe the real estate) this the................…
day of..........................… at..........… o'clock. E.F., sheriff
(or other officer),"

and by service of the attachment on the person, if any, in possession of such real estate.

Wherever a copy of an attachment is required or allowed to be served on any person, natural or artificial, it may be served as a notice is served under §§ 8.01-296, 8.01-299, 8.01-300 or 8.01-301, as the case may be.

Code 1950, § 8-537; 1977, c. 617; 1984, c. 646.

§ 8.01-551. When officer to take possession of property.

If so requested by the plaintiff in his petition, the officer to whom the attachment is directed shall take possession of the property specified in the attachment, or when no such property is specified, of any estate or effects of the defendant, or so much thereof as is sufficient to pay the plaintiff's claim. But the officer levying the attachment shall, before taking possession of any property as aforesaid, make his certificate of the estimated fair market value of the property on which the attachment is levied, and he shall not take possession of the same unless and until bond in conformance with § 8.01-537.1 based on the estimated fair market value of the property as so stated in his certificate is posted. The certificate shall be filed in the clerk's office of the court to which the attachment is returnable and the value so certified shall be subject to review by the court to which the attachment is returnable.

Code 1950, § 8-538; 1973, c. 545; 1977, c. 617; 1984, c. 646; 1993, c. 841.

§ 8.01-552. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1984, c. 646.

§ 8.01-553. Bonds for retention of property or release of attachment; revising bonds mentioned in this and § 8.01-551.

Any property levied on or seized as aforesaid, under any attachment, may be retained by or returned to the defendant or other person in whose possession it was on his giving bond, with condition to have the same forthcoming at such time and place as the court may require. In the alternative, the principal defendant may, by giving bond with condition to perform the judgment of the court, release from any attachment the whole of any estate attached. The bond in either case shall be taken by the officer serving the attachment, with surety, payable to the plaintiff, and in a penalty in the latter case either double the amount or value for which the attachment issued or double the value of the property on which the attachment was levied, at the option of the person giving it, and in the former, either double the amount of value for which the attachment issued or double the value of the property retained or returned, at the option of the person giving it. However, in the event the court shall consider that the amount of any bond required by this section or § 8.01-551 is excessive or inadequate, such court may, upon motion of any party in interest after reasonable notice to the opposite party if he can be found in the jurisdiction of the court or to his attorney of record, if any, fix the amount of such bond to conform to the equities of the case.

Code 1950, § 8-540; 1977, c. 617; 1984, c. 646.

§ 8.01-554. Where bond returned and filed; exceptions to bond.

Every such bond shall be returned by the officer to and filed by the clerk of the court in which the attachment is pending, or to which the attachment is returnable, and the plaintiff may, within thirty days after the return thereof, file exceptions to the same, or to the sufficiency of the surety therein. If such exception be sustained, the court shall order the officer to file a good bond, with sufficient surety, to be approved by it, on or before a certain day to be fixed by the court. If he fail to do so, he and his sureties in his official bond shall be liable to the plaintiff as for a breach of such bond; but the officer shall have the same rights and remedies against the parties to any bonds so adjudged bad as if he were a surety for them.

Code 1950, § 8-541; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-555. (Effective until January 1, 2022) When appeal bond given property to be delivered to owner.

When judgment in favor of the plaintiff is rendered by a general district court in any case in which an attachment is issued and on appeal therefrom to a circuit court an appeal bond is given, with condition to prosecute the appeal with effect or pay the debt, interest, costs and damages, as well as the costs of the appeal, the officer, in whose custody any attached property is, shall deliver the same to the owner thereof. When an appeal is from a circuit court to the Supreme Court and an appeal bond is given pursuant to § 8.01-676.1, the officer having custody shall proceed in like manner.

Code 1950, § 8-543; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-555. (Effective January 1, 2022) When appeal bond given property to be delivered to owner.

When judgment in favor of the plaintiff is rendered by a general district court in any case in which an attachment is issued and on appeal therefrom to a circuit court an appeal bond is given, with condition to prosecute the appeal with effect or pay the debt, interest, costs and damages, as well as the costs of the appeal, the officer, in whose custody any attached property is, shall deliver the same to the owner thereof. When an appeal is from a circuit court to the Court of Appeals and an appeal bond is given pursuant to § 8.01-676.1, the officer having custody shall proceed in like manner.

Code 1950, § 8-543; 1977, c. 617; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 489.

§ 8.01-556. Bonds may be given by any person.

Any bond authorized or required by any section of this chapter may be given either by the party himself or by any other person.

Code 1950, § 8-544; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-557. Lien of attachment; priority of holder in due course.

The plaintiff shall have a lien from the time of the levying of such attachment, or serving a copy thereof as aforesaid, upon the personal property of the principal defendant, when the same is in his possession, actual or constructive, and upon the personal property, choses in action, and other securities of such defendant in the hands of, or owing by a codefendant on whom it is so served; and on any real estate mentioned in such an endorsement by the officer on the attachment or summons as is prescribed by § 8.01-550, from the time of levy and service pursuant to such section. But a holder in due course of negotiable paper shall have priority over an attachment levied thereon.

Code 1950, § 8-545; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-558. Attachment lien on effects already in hands of officer.

When an officer has in his possession or custody money or effects of the defendant held under an attachment executed, or other legal process, a delivery to such officer of an attachment under this chapter shall be deemed a levy thereof as to such money or effects, and constitute a lien thereon from the time of such delivery.

Code 1950, § 8-546; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-559. Return by officer.

The officer levying the attachment shall show in his return the time, date and manner of the service, or execution thereof, on each person and parcel of property, and also give a list and description of the property, if any, levied on under the attachment.

Code 1950, § 8-547; 1954, c. 333; 1977, c. 617.

Article 3. Subsequent Proceedings Generally.

§ 8.01-560. How interest and profits of property applied in certain cases.

When any attachment is sued out, although the property or estate attached be not seized, the interest and profits thereof pending the attachment and before judgment may be paid to the defendant, if the court deem it proper.

Code 1950, § 8-548; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-561. How property to be kept; how sold, when expensive to keep or perishable.

Any property seized under any attachment and not sold before judgment shall be kept in the same manner as similar property taken under execution. But such as is expensive to keep or perishable may be sold by order of the court upon such terms as the court may direct. If the court directs that the sale may be made on credit, the court may order the sheriff to take a bond with sufficient surety, payable to the sheriff, for the benefit of the party entitled. Such bond shall be returned forthwith by the officer to the court.

Code 1950, § 8-549; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-562. Examination on oath of codefendant; order and bond.

A defendant who at the time of service of the attachment was alleged to be indebted to a principal defendant, or had in his possession personal property belonging to such principal defendant, shall appear in person and submit to an examination on oath touching such debt or personal property, or he may, with the consent of the court, after reasonable notice to the plaintiff, file an answer in writing under oath, stating whether or not he was so indebted, and if so, the amount thereof and the time of maturity, or whether he had in his possession any personal property belonging to such principal defendant and, if so, the nature and value thereof. If it appear on such examination or by his answer that at the time of the service of the attachment, he was indebted to the principal defendant, or had in his possession or control any goods, chattels, money, securities or other effects belonging to such defendant, the court may order him to pay the amount so owing by him, or to deliver such effects to the sheriff, or other person designated by the court to receive the same; or such defendant may, with the leave of the court, give bond with sufficient security, payable to such person and in such penalty as the court shall prescribe, with condition to pay the amount owing by him, and have such effects forthcoming, at such time and place as the court may thereafter require. An answer under oath under this section shall be deemed prima facie to be true.

Code 1950, § 8-550; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-563. Principal defendant may claim exemption.

The principal defendant, if a householder or head of a family, may claim that the amount so found owing from his codefendant, or the personal property in his possession, shall be exempt from liability for the plaintiff's claim; and if it shall appear that the principal defendant is entitled to such exemption, then the court shall render a judgment against the defendant only for the excess, if any, beyond the exemption to which the principal defendant is entitled.

Code 1950, § 8-551; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-564. Procedure when codefendant fails to appear.

If the attachment be served on a defendant who the petition alleges is indebted to, or has in his possession effects of, the principal defendant, and he fail to appear, the court may either compel him to appear, or hear proof of any debt owing by him, or of effects in his hands belonging to a principal defendant in such attachment, and make such orders in relation thereto as if what is so proved had appeared on his examination.

Code 1950, § 8-552; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-565. Suggestion that codefendant has not made full disclosure.

When it is suggested by the plaintiff in any attachment that a codefendant has not fully disclosed the debts owing by him, or effects in his hands belonging to the principal defendant in such attachment, the court, without any formal pleading, shall inquire as to such debts and effects, or, if either party demand, it shall cause a jury to be impaneled for that purpose, and proceed in respect to any such debts or effects found by the court or the jury in the same manner as if they had been confessed by such codefendant. If the judgment of the court or verdict of the jury be in favor of such codefendant, he shall have judgment for his costs against the plaintiff.

Code 1950, § 8-553; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-566. Who may make defense to attachment.

Any of the defendants in any such attachment, or any party to any forthcoming bond given as aforesaid, or the officer who may be liable to the plaintiff by reason of such bond being adjudged bad, or any person authorized by § 8.01-573 to file a petition, may make defense to such attachment, but the attachment shall not thereby be discharged, or the property levied on released.

Code 1950, § 8-554; 1973, c. 545; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-567. What defense may be made to attachments.

Any party in interest may show that the court is without jurisdiction to hear and determine the controversy.

The principal defendant, if not served with process, may appear specially and show that the attachment was issued on false suggestion or without sufficient cause, in which event the attachment shall be quashed.

Any person claiming title to, an interest in, or a lien upon the property attached, or any part thereof, after being admitted as a party defendant, if not already a defendant, and the principal defendant, may contest the liability of the principal defendant for the plaintiff's claim, in whole or in part, by proof of any manner which would constitute a good defense by the principal defendant to an action at law on such claim, and may also show that the attachment was not issued on any of the grounds set forth in § 8.01-534, or that the plaintiff is not likely to succeed on the merits of his underlying claim. The principal defendant may also file counterclaims or defenses available under § 8.01-422 as in an action at law.

Other defendants shall be limited to defenses personal to themselves, or which may prevent a liability upon them or their property.

Code 1950, § 8-555; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-568. Quashing attachment or rendering judgment for defendant.

The court in which an attachment is pending shall, on motion of the principal defendant, or any defendant claiming title to, an interest in, or a lien upon the property attached, or any part thereof, after reasonable notice to the plaintiff, hear testimony and quash the attachment, if of opinion that (i) the attachment is invalid on its face, (ii) none of the grounds for attachment in § 8.01-534 exist, or (iii) the plaintiff is not likely to succeed on the merits of his underlying claim. The hearing shall be held not later than ten business days following the defendant's motion. When the attachment is properly sued out, and the case is heard upon its merits, if the court is of opinion that the claim of the plaintiff is not established, final judgment shall be given for the defendant. In either case, he shall recover his costs, and damages for loss of the use of his property, and there shall be an order for the restoration of the attached effects. The plaintiff shall have the burden of proof in proceedings pursuant to this section.

Code 1950, § 8-556; 1977, c. 617; 1984, c. 646.

§ 8.01-569. When petition dismissed; when retained and cause tried.

If the principal defendant has not appeared generally, nor been served with process, and the sole ground of jurisdiction of the court is the right to sue out the attachment, and this right be decided against the plaintiff, the petition shall be dismissed at the cost of the plaintiff; but if the plaintiff's claim be due at the hearing, and the court would otherwise have jurisdiction of an action against such defendant for the cause set forth in the petition, and such defendant has appeared generally, or been served with process, it shall retain the cause and proceed to final judgment as in other actions at law.

Code 1950, § 8-557; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-570. Judgment, etc., of court when claim of plaintiff established.

If the claim of the plaintiff be established, judgment shall be rendered for him, and the court shall dispose of the specific property levied on, as may be right, and order the sale of any other effects or real estate which shall not have been previously released or sold under this chapter, and direct the proceeds of sale, and whatever else is subject to the attachment, including what is embraced by such forthcoming bond, to be applied in satisfaction of the judgment.

Code 1950, § 8-558; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-571. When defendant not served fails to appear plaintiff required to give bond.

If the principal defendant has not appeared or been served with a copy of the attachment ten days before the judgment therein mentioned, the plaintiff shall not have the benefit of § 8.01-570 unless and until he shall have given bond with sufficient surety in such penalty as the court shall approve, with condition to perform such future order as may be made upon the appearance of such defendant and his making defense. If the plaintiff fail to give such bond in a reasonable time, the court shall dispose of the estate attached, or the proceeds thereof, as to it shall seem just.

Code 1950, § 8-542; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-572. Sale of real estate attached.

No real estate shall be sold until all other property and money subject to the attachment have been exhausted, and then only so much thereof as is necessary to pay the judgment. Upon a sale of real estate, under an attachment the court shall have the same powers and jurisdiction, and like proceedings thereon may be had, as if it were a sale of real estate by a court of equity exercising general equity powers.

Code 1950, § 8-559; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-573. How and when claims of other persons to property tried.

Any person may file his petition at any time before the property attached as the estate of a defendant is sold or the proceeds of sale paid to the plaintiff under the judgment, disputing the validity of the plaintiff's attachment thereon, or stating a claim thereto, or an interest in or lien on the same, under any other attachment or otherwise, and its nature, and upon giving security for cost, the court, without any other pleading, shall inquire into such claim, or, if either party demand it, impanel a jury for that purpose. If it be found that the petitioner has title to, or a lien on, or any interest in, such property, or its proceeds, the court shall make such order as may be necessary to protect his rights. The costs of such inquiry shall be paid by either party, at the discretion of the court.

Code 1950, § 8-560; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-574. Attachments in connection with pending suits or actions.

If an attachment be desired in connection with a pending suit or action, a petition for an attachment may be filed in the same court in which such suit or action is pending, and the procedure thereon shall be the same as if no suit or action were pending; but the attachment may be heard along with any suit in equity relating to the same subject so far as may be necessary for the convenient administration of justice. The suing out of an attachment in connection with a pending suit or action shall not be deemed the prosecution of a second action for the same cause.

Code 1950, § 8-561; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-575. Rehearing permitted when judgment rendered on publication.

If a defendant, against whom, on publication, judgment is rendered under any attachment, or his personal representative, shall return to or appear openly in this Commonwealth, he may, within one year after a copy of such judgment shall be served on him at the instance of the plaintiff, or within two years from the date of the judgment, if he be not so served, petition to have the proceedings reheard. On giving security for costs he shall be admitted to make defense against such judgment, as if he had appeared in the case before the same was rendered, except that the title of any bona fide purchaser to any property, real or personal, sold under such attachment, shall not be brought in question or impeached. But this section shall not apply to any case in which the petitioner, or his decedent, was served with a copy of the attachment more than ten days before the date of the judgment, or to any case in which he appeared and made defense.

Code 1950, § 8-562; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-576. Order of court on rehearing or new trial; restitution to defendant.

On any rehearing or new trial had under § 8.01-575, the court may order the plaintiff in the original attachment to restore any money paid to him under such judgment to such defendant if living, or if dead to the heir or personal representative of such defendant, as the same may be, the proceeds of real or personal estate, and enter a judgment therefor against him; or it may confirm the former judgment. In either case it shall adjudge the costs of the prevailing party.

Code 1950, § 8-563; 1977, c. 617.