le·vy / ˈlevē/ • v. (-vies, -vied) [tr.] 1. (often be levied) impose (a tax, fee, or fine): a new tax could be levied on industry to pay for cleaning up contaminated land. ∎ impose a tax, fee, or fine on: there will be powers to levy the owner. ∎ [intr.] (levy on/upon) seize (property) to satisfy a legal judgment: there were no goods to levy upon. 2. archaic enlist (someone) for military service: he sought to levy one man from each parish for service. ∎ begin to wage (war). • n. (pl. -vies) 1. an act of levying a tax, fee, or fine: union members were hit with a 2 percent levy on all pay. ∎ a tax so raised. ∎ a sum collected for a specific purpose, esp. as a supplement to an existing subscription. ∎ an item or set of items of property seized to satisfy a legal judgment. 2. hist. an act of enlisting troops. ∎ (usu. levies) a body of troops that have been enlisted: lightly armed local levies. DERIVATIVES: lev·i·a·ble adj.
To assess; raise; execute; exact; tax; collect; gather; take up; seize. Thus, to levy a tax; to levy anuisance; to levy a fine; to levy war; to levy an execution, i.e., to levy or collect a sum of money on an execution.
A seizure. The obtaining of money by legal process through seizure and sale of property; the raising of the money for which an execution has been issued.
A sheriff or other officer of the law can be ordered by a court to make a levy against any property not entitled to an exemption. The court can do this with an order of attachment, by which the court takes custody of the property during pending litigation, or by execution, the process used to enforce a judgment. The order directs the sheriff to take and safely keep all non-exempt property of the defendant found within the county or as much property as is necessary to satisfy the plaintiff's demand plus costs and expenses. The order also directs the sheriff to make a written statement of efforts and to return it to the clerk of the court where the action is pending. This report, called a return, lists all the property seized and the date of seizure.
The sheriff's act in taking custody of the defendant's property is the levy. A levy on real property is generally accomplished by giving the defendant and the general public notice that the defendant's property has been encumbered by the court order. This can be done by filing a notice with the clerk who keeps real estate mortgages and deeds recorded with the county. A levy of tangible personal property usually requires actual seizure. If the goods are capable of being moved around, most states insist that the sheriff actually take them into custody or remove them to another place for safekeeping with an independent person. If the property is bulky or cumbersome and removal would be impracticable and expensive, actual seizure is not necessary. The levy can be accomplished by removing an essential piece, such as the pinsetter in a bowling alley, or by services of the court demanding preservation of the property. The order can be served on the defendant or anyone else in possession of the property, and disobedience of it then can be punished as a contempt of court.
Often the order will permit levy against any property belonging to the defendant, but it will specify seizure of a unique item and allow something else of comparable value to be substituted only if the unusual item cannot be found.
An attempt to attach a debtor's property is effective only after a levy, and from that time on there is a lien on the attached property. This gives the plaintiff some security that he or she will be able to collect what is owed and, if first in time, establishes the plaintiff's priority at the head of the line of the defendant's creditors who might subsequently seek a levy upon a debtor's property. It can strengthen the plaintiff's bargaining position if the plaintiff is trying to settle the dispute with the defendant, and it may even create jurisdiction for the court over the defendant, but only to the extent of the value of the property subject to levy.
LEVY , wealthy family of Portuguese refugees in *Morocco. meyer (d. 1520) established an important spinning mill in Safi; the carpets woven there were famous. In about 1510 the king of Portugal appointed Meyer "royal treasurer." In 1520 the sharif of the Saʿadi dynasty accused him of espionage and had him put to death. His brother isaac (d. after 1555), who was the "confidential Jew" of the sharifs of the Saʿadi dynasty, played an active role in their foreign policy. Meyer's son joseph (d. after 1560) entered the service of the Portuguese and was their official interpreter from 1535. A talented negotiator, he received a pension from the king of Portugal. His grandson judah (d. c. 1635) was entrusted with important functions during the reign of Aḥmad al-Manṣūr (1578–1603) and became one of the favorites of the ruler's successors, during whose reigns he was responsible for "marine and commercial affairs" and was appointed rentero of the port of *Safi, then the most important one in the kingdom. He was a merchant and was as well known in London and Amsterdam as in Morocco. Toward the end of his life the sultan entrusted him with the administration of the funds of the royal treasury. He died in Safi. His brother moses (d. after 1620) was an important financier. In about 1600 the title of *nagid was bestowed upon him and for a time he presided over the activities of Moroccan Jewry. In 1603 he signed the takkanot of *Fez. In 1617 the sultan sent him on an economic mission to the Netherlands with credentials addressed to the Estates-General and Maurice of Nassau. His family played an important role in the international commerce of Morocco and the leadership of the Jewish communities until about 1720. The family's descendants were known from their ketubbot in Safi, Mogador, and Gibraltar until the 19th century.
D. Cazès, Notes bibliographiques… (1893), 44–50, 237–9; J.M. Toledano, Ner ha-Ma'arav (1911), 193; J. Abensur, Mishpat u-Ẓedakah be-Ya'akov, 1 (1894), no. 92; 2 (1894), nos. 123–4; sihm, index.
LEVY, a British project in the early years of the nineteenth century to recruit recent British arrivals in the United States and Canada for an enterprise against Napoleon's French possessions in the West Indies. In 1803 Charles Williamson, a British officer captured during the American Revolution and former agent of the Pulteney Associates, received orders to organize the Levy. He proposed cooperating with Francisco de Miranda in an attack against Spanish possessions in Florida, Mexico, and South America. The British may have offered the Levy to Aaron Burr, but no organization ever emerged. Miranda failed, and Williamson returned to Great Britain.
Thomas RobsonHay/a. e.
Hence vb. raise (money, taxes, etc.) XIV; raise (an army); make, start (war) XV.