Cannabis Litigation: Writs of Attachment

Last month, I wrote this post about the availability of fraudulent transfer claims under the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act when it’s possible that a cannabis judgment debtor (or soon to be judgment debtor) begins to move its assets around to avoid future payment. But what if you have those concerns at or near the beginning of a lawsuit? A writ of attachment may be the answer.

Attachment is a prejudgment remedy that allows a creditor (typically the plaintiff or cross-complainant) to obtain a lien on the defendant’s assets during the pendency of the case. I’ll start off by saying this is difficult to win (more on that below), and the process involves compliance with extremely strict statutory requirements and technicalities. If obtained though, attachments provide huge leverage and motivation for settlement. They also allow you to become a secured creditor, which means you’ll gain priority over the defendant’s other creditors that might come to existence while the case remains active.

Attachment is a statutory mechanism, and Code of Civil Procedure § 483.010, et seq. is the operative section. Subsections (a) and (b) provide:

(a) Except as otherwise provided by statute, an attachment may be issued only in an action on

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