When a plaintiff motions a court in New York State for an order directing the sheriff to seize real property that is rightfully theirs — but is being held by the defendant for a variety of reasons — the court sets what is called an undertaking in an action for seizure.  

An undertaking is a means by which the defendant is protected against damage to the chattel, or in the event that it was seized improperly. The amount of the undertaking must be no less than twice the value of the chattel stated on the plaintiff’s affidavit to the court.  

After the plaintiff makes the motion to the court and the bond is ordered, the plaintiff would need to supply us with some documents: 

  • a copy of the order; 
  • a copy of the complaint; and 
  • some financial information. 

Generally, we can issue the bond with the plaintiff’s signature, provided they have some assets.  

The bond then gets electronically uploaded to the court for electronic filing, while the original bond is filed with the sheriff of the county in which the plaintiff filed the application for the seizure. Once the Sheriff receives the bond and the order, they can proceed to seize the chattel.  

In addition to providing the original bond to the sheriff, be sure to bring a certified copy of the court order granting the seizure upon the filing of the original bond with the sheriff, and proof that the bond has been electronically filed with the court.  

A seizure of chattel can be canceled by either a judgment against the opposing party or a stipulation of discontinuance, along with the release of the surety.

Neil Pedersen
15 Maiden Lane Suite #800
New York, NY 10038

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