In feudal times, the remedy of distress gave a lord the right to seize any chattels found on land occupied by a tenant when the tenant did not discharge a service owed to the lord.1 Seizure of the chattel put pressure on the tenant to perform the service.2

  1. Cornelius J. Moynihan & Sheldon F. Kurtz, Introduction to the Law of Real Property 8 (4th ed. 2005). 

  2. See Distress, Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014) (quoting F.A. Enever, History of the Law of Distress 7–8 (1931)).