Saudi Arabia - Attachment of Assets
Originally from Attachment of Assets
1. What is the general nature and effect of judicial measures available for plaintiffs to obtain provisional relief affecting property of debtors to obtain security for judgments to be obtained (“attachments”)? Freezing property in place? Placing it in the custody of a third party, such as a court official, sheriff or marshall?
With respect to a debt arising from a commercial transaction, attachment may be granted as a provisional remedy by the court that has competent jurisdiction to consider a claim over the debt. Attachment may be placed on the property of the defendant whether it is in his possession or in the possession of a third party. Article 583 of the Commercial Court Regulations provides that:
“A plaintiff may cause a provisional attachment to be made on the property claimed, when he initiates proceedings or during the hearing, regardless of whether this property is in possession of the defendant or of a third party . . . .”
Moreover, in urgent cases of whatever nature, the plaintiff may submit a petition to the Minister of Interior asking him to issue an order for the attachment of the defendant’s property. The order for attachment shall be valid for a period of twenty (20) days, during which period the plaintiff shall file his claim before the competent judicial authority for extension of the attachment.
If the Shari’a court has begun to verify the estate of the defendant after his death, the plaintiff shall file his claim regarding the attachment of such property with the Shari’a court.
Upon ordering the attachment, the court shall write to the Governorate requesting that the matter be referred to the Police (Civil Rights Department). Attachment shall be effected by placing the property to be attached under the seal of the court, and the Civil Rights Department shall afterwards submit to the court a report on the process. The owner of the attached property may keep his control over it, but he then holds the property as a trustee for his creditor, and the attachment operates as in effect an injunction against disposition of the property.