Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 64

Rule 64. Seizing a Person or Property

(a) REMEDIES UNDER STATE LAW—IN GENERAL. At the commencement of and throughout an action, every remedy is available that, under the law of the state where the court is located, provides for seizing a person or property to secure satisfaction of the potential judgment. But a federal statute governs to the extent it applies.

(b) SPECIFIC KINDS OF REMEDIES. The remedies available under this rule include the following—however designated and regardless of whether state procedure requires an independent action:

• arrest;
• garnishment;
• replevin;
• sequestration; and
• other corresponding or equivalent remedies.

Essential Points

  • Courts can issue so-called “provisional remedies” to secure enforcement of a judgment.  For example, let’s say a defendant is sued because he took possession of a painting that belongs to someone else.  If the defendant transports the painting out of the country it is possible that the painting will never be returned. The plaintiff may ask court to issue an order to insure that the painting stays put until the case is over.
  • State laws usually provide for these types of provisional remedies but federal law can also apply.