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Writ of Replevin


A writ of replevin is a prejudgment process ordering the seizure or attachment of alleged illegally taken or wrongfully withheld property to be held in the U.S. Marshal’s custody or that of another designated official, under order and supervision of the court, until the court determines otherwise. This type of writ is commonly used to take property from an individual wrongfully in possession of it and return it to its rightful owner.

Territorial Limits

The writ is normally limited to execution within the state in which the district court is located unless extended by federal statute, rule or court order. 

Issued By

The clerk of the U.S. District or Bankruptcy Court issues the writ, under seal, at the request of a party, upon posting of an indemnity bond.

Served By

The writ is served by the U.S. Marshal or another person, presumably a law enforcement officer, specially appointed by the court in accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4.1(a)c..

Manner of Service

The Writ is served according to the instructions contained in it and in accordance with state law, which governs replevin procedures.  The requesting party may be required to provide an indemnity bond and an advance deposit to cover the U.S. Marshal's estimated out-of-pocket expenses.


The individual who effects service will provide proof of service by recording on the writ a description of the action taken according to the instructions contained in it. The instructions may require an inventory to be done, including the proper value of the property seized.

Note: The information related to the service of court process that is contained on this web site is general information and not intended to be an exhaustive or definitive explanation or depiction of Federal rules of procedures for the service of process. Readers are directed to the Federal Rules of Criminal and Civil Procedure; personal legal counsel; the United States Code, Titles 18 and 28; their local U.S. Attorney's Office and District Court for specific, authoritative guidance.