A. A proceeding in detinue to recover personal property unlawfully withheld from the plaintiff may be brought on a warrant or motion for judgment if pretrial seizure is not sought at the time of filing.A petition in detinue for pretrial seizure pursuant to this article may be filed either to commence the detinue proceeding or may be filed during the pendency of a detinue proceeding which commenced on a warrant or motion for judgment. If a petition is filed, it shall:
1. Describe the kind, quantity and estimated fair market value of the specific personal property as to which plaintiff seeks possession;
2. Describe the basis of the plaintiff’s claim of entitlement to recover the property, with such certainty as will give the adverse party reasonable notice of the true nature of the claim and the particulars thereof and, if based on a contract to secure the payment of money, the amount due on such contract; and
3. Allege one or more of the grounds mentioned in § 8.01-534 and set forth specific facts in support of such allegation. Further, if a petition is filed, a judge, or a magistrate appointed pursuant to Article 3 (§ 19.2-33 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 19.2, may issue an order or other process directed to the sheriff or other proper officer, as the case may be, commanding him to seize the property for the recovery of which such action or warrant is brought, or a specified portion thereof, and deliver same to the plaintiff pendente lite under the circumstances hereinafter set forth.
B. The judge or the magistrate may issue such an order or other process in accordance with the prayer of the petition after an ex parte review of the petition only upon a determination that: (i) the petition conforms with subsection A and (ii) there is reasonable cause to believe that the grounds for detinue seizure described in the petition exist. The plaintiff praying for an order shall, at the time that he files his petition, pay the proper costs, fees and taxes, and in the event of his failure to do so, the order shall not be issued.
C. The judge or magistrate, as the case may be, may receive evidence only in the form of a sworn petition which shall be filed with the papers in the cause.
D. The order commanding the seizure of property shall be issued and served together with the form for requesting a hearing on a claim of exemption from seizure as provided in § 8.01-546.1. The order shall be issued and returned as provided in § 8.01-541 and may be issued or executed on any day, including a Saturday, Sunday or other legal holiday. Service shall be in accordance with the methods described in § 8.01-487.1. The provisions of § 8.01-546.2 shall govern claims for exemption.
Code 1950, § 8-586; 1973, c. 408; 1974, c. 122; 1977, c. 617; 1978, c. 403; 1986, c. 341; 1993, c. 841.