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[Anglo-French attacher to lodge (an action in court), seize (a person or property) by legal authority, from Old French atachier to fasten, fix, alteration of estachier, from estache stake]
1 : to obtain a court order against (property of another person) that directs an officer of the court (as a sheriff) to seize or take control of the property compare garnish, levy NOTE: A plaintiff may attach a defendant's property as a way of obtaining jurisdiction for the purpose of bringing a lawsuit or to prevent the defendant from getting rid of property that may be needed to pay a judgment to the plaintiff.
2 : to join or make a part of [affidavits ed to the suit "Rosalind Resnick"]
3 : to create a security interest in (property) and so acquire the right to foreclose on or otherwise deal with property for payment of a debt and to exercise one's rights in the property against third parties see also security interest at interest compare perfect
: to become effective: as
a : to come into existence as a security interest [from the date the interest es]
b : to become operative esp. as a right [the right to counsel es only at or after the initiation of adversary judicial proceedings "United States v. Gouveia, 467 U.S. 180 (1984)"] see also jeopardy
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.