Use a Prejudgment Writ of Attachment to Enforce Your Contract

What is a prejudgment writ of attachment anyway?  Well, what if right at the beginning of a lawsuit you could have the sheriff take assets from the other party to the contract in an amount that would satisfy a judgment on a breach of contract claim? Well, in in some circumstances and for certain types of lawsuits, you actually can do that. That is the purpose of a a prejudgment writ of attachment.

The benefits to obtaining a prejudgment writ of attachment in the course of a lawsuit for breach of contract are several. As mentioned above, the primary benefit is to have enough assets held on your behalf so that, when or if at the end of the case, you obtain a judgment against the other party, you are able to collect on that judgment enough assets to satisfy the amount of the judgment.  One of the key benefits to obtaining a prejudgment writ of attachment is that it can persuade the opposing party to entertain a settlement.  Why?  Because imagine if someone came along and took the funds you had sitting in your bank account and maybe some of the equipment you use in your business, that could be disruptive, inconvenient or even jeopardize your business in a way that could harm your relationships with your vendors and employees. Another potential benefit in obtaining a prejudgment writ of attachment is that it puts the other party on notice that you are not just threatening, but intend to use all efforts to collect the debt. Finally, you may go to seize assets and find that the party whose assets you are trying to seize, has no assets.  In that case, you may consider whether you will still chase the other party by moving forward with your lawsuit on principle or if you wish to cut your losses.  At least you can make an educated decision at that point.

Of course, with most things, there are also potential disadvantages to obtaining a prejudgment writ of attachment.  The disadvantages include the extra cost of obtaining a prejudgment writ of attachment at the beginning of a lawsuit or forcing the other party in the dispute into bankruptcy (which may not actually be a disadvantage because if they are judgment proof, you need to decide if you want to go forward anyway or drop it).

The types of cases in which you may be able to obtain a prejudgment writ of attachment are varied and may include cases involving contracts, cases in which the amount in dispute is and exact amount and is $500 or more, cases where the debt is unsecured or, if trying to obtain a writ of attachment against an individual, cases involving commercial matters.

So, if you find yourself considering a breach of contract lawsuit, also determine whether obtaining a prejudgment writ of attachment could work in your favor.

If you find yourself in a contract dispute, Integrated General Counsel can help you determine your next steps.  If you are ready for a results-driven plan of action, contact us either by telephone at (925) 399-1529, schedule yourself into our calendar for an appointment at a time convenient for you, or complete the Contact Kristen form and we will get back to you.