Levy Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Levy, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Levy?

(v) Levy is the charge imposed on a property , or activity , transaction etc to recover the amount due for its use, payable by a judgment in a lawsuit, taxation provisions etc.

History and Meaning of Levy

The term "levy" has its roots in the French word "lever", which means "to raise". Levy refers to a charge or imposition on property or an activity, usually for the purpose of recovering an amount due. This can be done through a judgment in a lawsuit or taxation provisions. Levies can be imposed by government entities, courts, or private parties as a means of collecting a debt owed.

Levies have been used throughout history as a means of raising funds for various purposes. In medieval Europe, lords would impose a levy to raise an army to defend their territories. Today, levies are commonly used in the context of taxes and court judgments.

Examples of Levy

  1. A government may levy taxes on property owners to fund public services like schools and road maintenance.
  2. A court may levy a judgment against a debtor, allowing the creditor to seize property or assets to satisfy the debt.
  3. A homeowner's association may levy fines on residents who violate community rules.
  4. A state may levy a sales tax on certain goods or services.
  5. A customs agency may levy duties on imported goods.

Legal Terms Similar to Levy

  1. Lien - A legal claim on property as security for a debt or obligation
  2. Garnishment - A legal process where a third party is ordered to withhold money owed to a debtor and pay it to a creditor to satisfy a debt.
  3. Seizure - The act of taking property by legal process or force as a means of satisfying a debt or obligation.