What Is a Body Attachment Warrant in Indiana?

By Lyndsay Crespo

A body attachment warrant offers the opportunity for the recipient of the arrest warrant to turn himself in. In Indiana, it represents a new alternative to the typical bench warrants given for skipped child support payments.

Definition

A body attachment warrant is a process issued by the court directing the U.S. Marshal to bring a person who has been found in civil contempt before the court. Synonyms for "body attachment warrant" include "writ of body attachment," "order of commitment for civil contempt" and "warrant for civil arrest."

Jurisdiction

If the recipient is in contempt of a federal decree or injunction, the U.S. Marshal can serve and enforce the warrant anywhere in the U.S. If the recipient is in contempt of a non-federal decree or injunction, the U.S. Marshal can only serve the warrant within the state of the district court or within 100 miles of the courthouse.

Controversy

In Indiana, body attachment warrants can now overtake bench warrants in prosecuting parents who have skipped child support payments. Some believe this alternative allows more parents to get away with their crimes by allowing them to turn themselves in. Local judges report that the warrants are just as effective and save jail space.

About the Author

Lyndsay Crespo has been writing professionally since 2007, when she was published by the Mexican National Institute of Ecology. She taught writing classes for three years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before moving to Mexico, where she teaches English. Crespo studied urban planning at MIT.