Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Attachment is of two kinds: 1. Against the person; 2. Against property (including debts).

1. Person. - An attachment against the person is a kind of criminal process which Courts of Record are authorised to issue. This process is granted in cases of contempt, which all Courts of Record may punish in a summary manner. If a contempt be committed in court by a breach of the peace, defiance of its authority, or an interruption of its proceedings, the offender may at once be attached and punished to a reasonable extent at the discretion of the presiding judge.

Attachment is also used to enforce obedience to the orders of the High Court of Justice, which also may be enforced, however, by committal. "Attachment" is effected by a writ issued by leave of a court or a judge, and directed to the sheriff; whereas "committal" is directed to be made by an order to be carried out by the tipstaff without the aid of the sheriff. The distinction, however, between committal and attachment in cases of contempt, though formerly of importance, is practically abolished. Under the Debtors Act of 1869, arrest for making default in a sum of money is abolished, with the exception of certain specified offences, of which the most important are: default by trustees ordered to pay sums by a court of equity; and defaults by solicitors in payment of penal costs, or of sums for which they may be liable in the character of officers of the court. Attachment is issued to punish disobedience to the rules or awards of court generally.

2. Attachment of debts is the mode by which sums of money due to an indebted person may be paid direct to his creditor. The person owing the sum of money sought to be so dealt with is called "the garnisher;" there are fine distinctions as to what liability constitutes an attachable debt. For instance, a liability by a third person to indemnify a debtor in respect of unliquidated risk is not considered a debt in such a sense that a creditor may call upon the third person to pay the sum to him instead of to the debtor entitled to the benefit of the indemnity. The order which a creditor may obtain for the purpose of attaching debts due to his creditor is to be obtained on application to a judge at chambers; and the order has the effect of restraining the garnisher from paying over the debt to any person but the creditor.