Syria - Attachment of Assets
Kanaan Al-Ahmar, LL.M., Attorney at Law, Al-Ahmar & Partners, Attorneys and Legal Advisors
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?
The judicial measures available for plaintiffs to obtain attachment vary according to the case and to the nature of the property subject matter of attachment. Properties which have a record such as real estates, vehicles, intellectual property (e.g., trademark) are attached on the records by notifying the registration office of the attachment decision so that to prohibit the owner of these properties from assigning them or disposing of them. Movables are usually attached by being either frozen in place, or placed in the custody of a third party such as a court official, an ordinary person (e.g., the plaintiff himself) or even the debtor. Properties that constitute a commercial establishment or an on going business are usually attached by being placed in the custody of the debtor who will still have the right to continue using the attached property and running the business.
2. What is the form of the attachment? Injunction? Other kind of judicial order? Specify.
An attachment is normally ordered in Syria by a judicial order which is issued in a way similar to the way in which injunctions are issued. As a rule, attachment are ordered by the Civil Court of First Instance under its jurisdiction to see urgent matter according to summary proceedings (Articles 78, 315, 318 of the Syrian Civil Procedure Code (“CPC”)). This court orders attachment in a judicial order which is issued after examining the files prima facie without notifying the defendant or litigating the case.
In addition to the special jurisdiction granted to the Civil Court of First Instance to order attachment in the way described above, any Syrian court of law (Civil, Criminal, Administrative, etc.) has jurisdiction to order an attachment in relation to any claim it sees. In this case, the court derives its jurisdiction to order attachment from its jurisdiction over the main claim in relation to which this attachment is sought. In this case, the court may order the attachment either by a judicial order according to the summary procedures stated above, or by an ordinary judicial decision that has the nature of the decision to be issued in the main claim (art. 316 CPC).