Duration of Writ’s Effect

A writ of attachment and garnishment is of no legal effect where no goods, chattels, credits, or effects of the defendant are in the hands of the garnishee.[i] In Western Bulk Carriers, Pty. v. P.S. Int’l, 762 F. Supp. 1302 (S.D. Ohio 1991), the court held that the nature of writ of maritime attachment is such that it should either attach property on the date of service or be void.  If the writ is ineffective on the date of service, it cannot operate against after-acquired property until the time of the garnishee’s answer.[ii]

To secure a writ of maritime attachment, a plaintiff should satisfy four prerequisites:[iii]

  • the plaintiff should have an in personam claim against the defendant which is cognizable in admiralty,
  • the defendant is not found within the district in which the action is commenced,
  • property belonging to the defendant is present or will soon be present in the district, and
  • there is no statutory or general maritime law proscription to the attachment.

[i] Western Bulk Carriers, Pty. v. P.S. Int’l, 762 F. Supp. 1302 (S.D. Ohio 1991)

[ii] Union Planters Nat’l Bank v. World Energy Systems Assoc., 816 F.2d 1092 (6th Cir. Tenn. 1987)

[iii] Western Bulk Carriers, Pty. v. P.S. Int’l, 762 F. Supp. 1302 (S.D. Ohio 1991)


Inside Duration of Writ’s Effect