The Law Dictionary

Featuring Black’s Law Dictionary Free Online Legal Dictionary 2nd Ed.


The persons who take part in the performance of any act, or who are directly interested in any affair, contract, or conveyance, or who are actively concerned in the prosecution and defense of any legal proceeding. U. S. v. Henderlong (C. C.) 102 Fed. 2; Robbins v. Chicago, 4 Wall. 672, 18 L. Ed. 427; Green v. Rogue, 158 U. S. 478, 15 Sup. Ct. 075, 39 L. Ed. 1061; Hughes v. Jones, 116 N. Y. 67, 22 N. E. 446, 5 L. R. A. 637, 15 Am. St. Rep. 3S6. See also PARTY. In the Roman civil law, the parties were designated as “actor’ and “reus.” In the common law, they are called “plaintiff” and “defendant ;” in real actions, “demandant” and “tenant;” in equity, “complainant” or “plaintiff” and “defendant;” in Scotch law, “pursuer” and “defender;” in admiralty practice, “libelant” and “respondent;” in appeals, “appellant” and “respondent,” sometimes, “plaintiff in error” and “defendant in error;” in criminal proceedings, “prosecutor” and “prisoner.” Classification. Formal parties are those who have no interest in the controversy between the immediate litigants, but have au interest in the subject-matter which may be conveniently settled in the suit, and thereby prevent further litigation; they may be made parties or not, at the option of the complainant. Chadbourne v. Coe, 51 Fed. 479, 2 C. C. A. 327.

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