In the civil law. An action against the person, founded on a personal liability; an action seeking redress for the violation of a jus in personam or right available against a particular individual. In admiralty law. An action directed against the particular person who is to be charged with the liability. It is distinguished from an actio in rem, which is a suit directed against a specific thing (as a vessel) irrespective of the ownership of it, to enforce a claim or lien upon it, or to obtain, out of the thing or out of the proceeds of its sale, satisfaction for an injury alleged by the claimant.