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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 ?
One of the important steps of presurgical evaluation is video-EEG monitoring, by which lateralizing and/or localizing features of epileptic seizures could be recorded; thus, it helps in defining the "symptomatogenic zone.
UR exhibits anti-epileptic effects in kainic acid (KA)-induced epileptic seizures and its inhibition is associated with a scavenging activity of oxygen free radicals (Hsieh et al.
Statistic analysis: Factors associated with preoperative epileptic seizure and surgical outcome were estimated by using Student's t test (two-tailed) for quantitative variables and Fisher's exact test (two-tailed) for non-parametric factors.
Its warning window for an epileptic seizure can be from 1 min to 5.
A DAD may have drowned after falling into a canal after su[euro]ering an epileptic seizure, an inquest heard.
A CHURCH-GOER who died alongside his wife after driving at about 70mph in a 30mph zone into a skip may have had an epileptic seizure at the wheel, an inquest heard yesterday.
Objective: To explore the factors associated with preoperative and postoperative epileptic seizure in patients with cavernous malformations (CMs).
He said: "The alternative explanation is he suffered an epileptic seizure, concerned with development disorders and a head injury sustained prior to being taken to Miss Holdsworth's house.
Before the epileptic seizure broke in her brain like an electrical storm, Laura Atchley felt a chill run up her spine and down her arms.
An epileptic seizure can also be caused by other factors such as drug and alcohol withdrawal and sleep deprivation.