Pacific Independent Co. v. Workman's Compensation Appeals Bd., 258 258 Cal. App. 2d 35, 65 Cal. Rptr. 429 (968): defines a receiver as:
"A receiver is a ministerial officer, agent, creature, hand, or arm of, and a temporary occupant and caretaker of the property for the court, and he represents the court appointing him, and he is the medium through with the court acts."
In addition, based on the particular task that a receiver has been charged with, many other names are used to describe receivers, as follows:
Regardless of the name used, every receiver's duties and responsibilities are expressly set by the courts, principally in its appointing order. These numerous names reflect the breadth of the tasks judges entrust to receivers in conducting the court's business.
A receiver is a neutral fiduciary appointed by the court, both state and federal, to take control and possession of all forms of assets involved in contentious litigation for the purpose of preserving and maintaining the assets pending the conclusion of the litigation, or to effect the sale of the assets to realize cash and to hold the same pending further court order.
The term "receivership" is the legal name given to a situation where a court appoints an impartial person (the receiver) to take possession of certain specified property to prevent deterioration, dissipation, loss or other detriment to the party requesting the appointment of a receiver, pending the outcome of the litigation (pendent lite).1
1 California Receiver's Loyola III Receivership Law & Practice 2009 Seminar