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Forcible possession; a grasping, snatching, or putting in possession.

In Criminal Law, a seizure is the forcible taking of property by a government law enforcement official from a person who is suspected of violating, or is known to have violated, the law. A Search Warrant usually must be presented to the person before his property is seized, unless the circumstances of the seizure justify a warrantless Search and Seizure. For example, the police may seize a pistol in the coat pocket of a person arrested during a Robbery without presenting a warrant because the search and seizure is incident to a lawful arrest. Certain federal and state laws provide for the seizure of particular property that was used in the commission of a crime or that is illegal to possess, such as explosives used in violation of federal law or illegal narcotics.

In the law of civil practice, the term refers to the act performed by an officer of the law under court order when she takes into custody the property of a person against whom a court has rendered a judgment to pay a certain amount of money to another. The property is seized so that it can be sold under the authority of the court to satisfy the judgment. Property can also be seized if a substantial likelihood exists that a defendant is concealing or removing property from the jurisdiction of the court so that in the event a judgment is rendered against her, the property cannot be used to pay the judgment. By attaching or seizing a defendant's property, the court prevents her from perpetrating a Fraud on the courts.


n. the taking by law enforcement officers of potential evidence in a criminal case. The constitutional limitations on seizure are the same as for search. Thus, evidence seized without a search warrant or without "probable cause" to believe a crime has been committed and without time to get a search warrant, cannot be admitted in court, nor can evidence traced through the illegal seizure. (See: search and seizure, search warrant, fruit of the poisonous tree)

See: adverse possession, apprehension, appropriation, arrest, arrogation, assault, disseisin, forfeiture, garnishment, infringement, levy, occupation, onset, plunder, possession, sequestration, taking

SEIZURE, practice. The act of taking possession of the property of a person condemned by the judgment of a competent tribunal, to pay a certain sum of money, by a sheriff, constable, or other officer, lawfully authorized thereto, by virtue of an execution, for the purpose of having such property sold according to law to satisfy the judgment. By seizure is also meant the taking possession of goods for a violation of a public law; as the taking possession of a ship for attempting an illicit trade. 2 Cranch, 18 7; 6 Cowen, 404; 4 Wheat. 100; 1 Gallis. 75; 2 Wash. C. C. 127, 567.
     2. The seizure is complete as soon as the goods are within the power of the officer. 3 Rawle's Rep. 401; 16 Johns. Rep. 287; 2 Nott & McCord, 392; 2 Rawle's Rep. 142; Wats. on Sher. 172; Com. Dig. Execution, C 5.
     3. The taking of part of the goods in a house, however, by virtue of a fieri facias in the name of the whole, is a good seizure of all. 8 East, R. 474. As the seizure must be made by virtue of an execution, it is evident that it cannot be made after the return day. 2 Caine's Rep. 243; 4 John. R. 450. Vide Door; House; Search Warrant.

References in periodicals archive ?
The survey revealed that seizure clusters have a negative impact on quality of life for patients and caregivers, including emotional, financial and social well-being burdens.
Additional analyses of an open-label extension study of perampanel show it provides a long-term marked reduction in seizures in people with drug-resistant partial seizures regardless of baseline seizure frequency.
The Dyfed-Powys Police force area, which covers Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys, has the highest rate of drug seizures in England and Wales, with 5,321 per million people in 2014-15.
A seizure is a burst of abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
Seizures are frightening to watch, but children rarely suffer long-term harm as a result of a seizure.
In March, the rapper spent a night in a Los Angeles hospital after undergoing a seizure while filming a music video for a song off his recent album "I Am Not a Human Being II.
The average time from first diagnosis of SLE to the patient's first seizure was 0.
DO NOT lift or move a person having a seizure unless they're in danger.
The key point of contention--the precise moment a physical seizure occurs--involves an even greater divide addressed by all but two circuit courts of appeals.
A second type of seizure is known as an "absence seizure" where a casualty may suddenly "switch off" and may stare blankly.
A stepwise approach to a suspected first-time seizure ensures a correct diagnosis and minimises unnecessary investigations and treatment.