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As a Plaintiff to a Lawsuit, Can I Obtain a Lien Against the Defendant’s Property Before I Obtain a Judgment?

In certain types of California lawsuits that involve commercial transactions, a plaintiff can apply to the Court and obtain a pre-judgement lien against the defendant’s property. A pre-judgment lien potentially locks up the defendant’s property until the case is over, which would preserve that property for enforcement of the plaintiff’s judgment in the lawsuit.

Obtaining a pre-judgement lien gives a plaintiff a couple of advantages. First, it greatly improves the likelihood that the plaintiff will collect on any judgment they obtain in the lawsuit. Second, it places a great deal of pressure on the defendant to agree to a settlement of the lawsuit on terms that are favorable to the plaintiff. Therefore, under the proper set of circumstances, obtaining a pre-judgement lien can be a very effective strategy for a plaintiff.

The application or request to the Court is referred to as an application for a pre-judgment right to attach order. There are quite a few technical requirements in successfully obtaining a pre-judgment right to attach order. The biggest obstacles require the plaintiff to establish that the claim is a “commercial” claim and that the plaintiff is likely to obtain a judgment against the defendant on that claim.

I have represented many East Bay California clients in applications for pre-judgment right to attach orders. If you have a claim that you want to determine whether or not you can obtain a pre-judgement lien upon, or a plaintiff has filed an application for a prejudgment lien against you, please feel free to contact me to arrange for a consultation at (510) 465-0025.



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