Venezuela - Attachment of Assets
Eugenio Hernández-Bretón, Baker & McKenzie, Torre Edicampo, P.H., Av. Francisco de Miranda
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?
Generally, attachments are part of proceedings on the merits. Depending on the type of assets and the need of the plaintiff, attachments can have the effect of freezing the property in place (sequestration), placing it in the custody of a third party (seizure), prohibiting alienation or encumbrance of a particular asset (Article 588 of the Code of Civil Procedure). Plaintiffs can also apply for any other innominate judicial measures that may suit their needs (Article 588, First Paragraph of the Code of Civil Procedure). The purpose of attachments is to secure compliance by the debtor with a future court decision.
2. What is the form of the attachment? Injunction? Other kind of judicial order? Specify.
An attachment can have any legal form. Generally, they are granted by courts. Judges have very broad powers in designing the form of attachments.
3. What is the jurisdictional basis for an attachment? Is the presence of the debtor’s property a sufficient basis for an attachment to be obtained, assuming other requirements are satisfied? To what extent may attachment be used as a basis for obtaining personal jurisdiction over a debtor? To what extent are attachments or similar orders intended to have extraterritorial effect?
Generally, a Venezuelan court can only order attachments if Venezuela has jurisdiction on the merits of the litigation according to its own rules on jurisdiction. The presence of the debtor’s property in Venezuela is not, in itself, a sufficient basis to obtain an attachment.