distrain

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Distrain

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.

distrain

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.