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To seize the property of an individual and retain it until an obligation is performed. The taking of the goods and chattels of a tenant by a landlord in order to satisfy an unpaid debt.

Distrain is a comprehensive term that may be used in reference to any detention of Personal Property, lawful or unlawful.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


to seize (personal property) by way of DISTRESS.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

TO DISTRAIN. To take an keep any personal chattel in custody, as a distress. (q.v.)

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Distrained property is sold at auction under arrangements made by the Ministry of Justice in agreement with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority to ensure the financial capability of participants.
If a debtor, his wife or children, when distrained for non-payment are killed as a result of maltreatment, then the law wreaks vengeance on the child of the creditor.
At a later point in the same letter, a similar foregrounding of her speech occurs in recounting her exchange with Harleston, the Duke of Suffolk's steward, when he approached her at the Hellesdon manor requesting the return of the distrained livestock: And on the sam day at evynsong tyme Harleston com to me to Haylesdon, desyryng me that I wold dalyuer a-yen the seyd dystresse ...
Although requests for help dwindled during the 1896s, it continued to assist boycotted farmers and to ensure the sale of distrained goods.
It was common practice for goods distrained from Dissenters to be purchased by nearby friends.
At Clare in 1352, William Pope was distrained to answer in court because he sold herring at six for 1d.
The sources are chiefly probate inventories and wills, but a receipt and an inventory of goods distrained against debt are drawn on.
all who in the period 1430-1509 provided a knight or were distrained,
When the sheriff of that county distrained a Regulator's horse and saddle for nonpayment of taxes in April 1768, violence flared at Hillsborough, the seat of Orange County.
Their notions of administration were partly framed in reaction against the unseemly process, ably described by Brown, in which state executive councils hectored local officials to do their duty and sheriffs distrained the property of delinquent collectors.
Pledges were legally liable for a loan, and their goods could be distrained if a debtor defaulted.
If the garnishee insists upon abstaining from reporting the debt pursuant to the method stipulated in this law or misrepresents information or conceals the papers that should be filed to support the report, he shall be sentenced to pay the creditor, who acquired the deed of execution to confirm his debt, the distrained amount upon which distraint is effected.