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Massachusetts Agencies

Amount

Attachments

The amount secured by an attachment, even if the judgment rendered is larger, was addressed in Construction Publishing Co., Inc. v. Eaton-Turner, Inc., 24 Mass.App.Ct. 917, 508, N.E.2d 867 (1987). The attachment is limited to the amount stated therein, plus interest:

The relevant statute is G.L.c. 223, §42 [providing] that "property liable to be taken on execution . . . may be attached . . . and . . . held as security to satisfy such judgment as the plaintiff may recover."

The implication is that there is no security interest in property not so attached or in property in excess of the attachment. Massachusetts Rule of Civil Procedure 4.1(c) . . . lends support to this conclusion. The rule prohibits an attachment, unless approved by an order of the court "for a specified amount . . ."

If [the plaintiff's] argument [that its attachment secures the full amount of the larger judgment] were to prevail, the amount of the attachment would be irrelevant . . . .

In this case the court said that where there was an intervening lien recorded after the attachment was made the attaching creditor would have priority over the intervening lien for the judgment and interest, but only up to an aggregate amount of the attachment.