1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Civil Practice Law & Rules
  4. Article 71: Recovery of Chattel


Section 7103 Reclaiming, impounding or returning chattel

Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP)

(a) Reclaiming chattel. A chattel may be reclaimed by any person claiming the right to its possession, except a defendant claiming only a lien thereon or a security interest therein , by service upon the sheriff, and upon all parties to the action, of a notice that the reclaiming party requires a return of all or part of the chattels replevied; an undertaking executed as required by subdivision (e) of section 7102 and an affidavit stating that the reclaiming party is entitled to possession by virtue of facts set forth. The sheriff shall retain custody of the chattel for ten days after such papers have been served upon him. At the expiration of such period he shall deliver the chattel to the person serving the notice if there has not been served upon him a notice of exception to sureties or a notice of motion for an impounding order. Upon failure by the surety to justify, the sheriff shall deliver possession of the chattel to the plaintiff. If more than one person serves a reclaiming notice on the sheriff, the sheriff shall move, on notice to all parties, to have the court determine to whom the chattel shall be delivered.

  (b) Impounding chattel. A chattel which is in the custody of the sheriff may be impounded pending judgment or further order of the court, upon motion of any person claiming the right to its possession, upon notice to the sheriff and to all parties to the action. The motion shall be granted if the chattel is of such a nature, or the circumstances are such, that the moving party, if found to be entitled to possession, would not be adequately compensated for its loss by the payment of its pecuniary value. An undertaking shall accompany the motion, in an amount not less than two hundred and fifty dollars, that the moving party will indemnify the sheriff for all expenses incurred by him in transporting, handling and safekeeping the chattel pending determination of the motion, and, if the motion is granted, pending judgment or further order of the court. All expenses resulting from impounding shall be taxed as disbursements in the action as the court may direct.

  (c) Returning chattel. 1. If a chattel which is in the custody of the sheriff is personal property which if owned by a defendant would be exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money judgment, if the value of the possession of the chattel to the defendant is greater than the value of its possession to the plaintiff, if the interest of the plaintiff would not thereby be prejudiced and if the interests of justice so require, upon motion of the defendant, upon notice to the sheriff and to all parties to the action, and on such terms and on such security and conditions as to the court may seem proper, the court may order its return to the defendant.

  2. If the court orders the return of the chattel to the defendant, it shall grant a restraining order that the chattel shall not be removed from the state if it is a vehicle, aircraft or vessel or, otherwise, from its location, transferred, sold, pledged, assigned or otherwise disposed of or permitted to become subject to a security interest or lien until further order of the court. Unless the court otherwise directs, the restraining order does not prohibit a disposition of the chattel to the plaintiff. Disobedience of the order may be punished as a contempt of court.

  (d) Additional parties. A motion under this section, or service upon plaintiff of a notice of reclamation or exception to surety by a person not a party to the action, makes such a person a party to the action. Plaintiff shall serve a copy of the complaint upon such person within twenty days after he becomes a party.