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
11/28/2021

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.