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A party is a
person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is ...

person
or group of persons that compose a single
entity An entity is something that exists as itself, as a subject or as an object, actually or potentially, concretely or abstractly, physically or not. It need not be of material existence. In particular, abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is ...
which can be identified as one for the purposes of the
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its bounda ...
. Parties include:
plaintiff A plaintiff ( Π in legal shorthand) is the party who initiates a lawsuit A lawsuit is a proceeding by a party or parties against another in the civil Civil may refer to: *Civic virtue, or civility *Civil action, or lawsuit *Civil aff ...
(person filing suit),
defendant In court proceedings, a defendant is a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic is an interdisciplinary fi ...
(person sued or charged with a crime),
petitioner{{Unreferenced, date=December 2009 A petitioner is a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally es ...
(files a petition asking for a court ruling),
respondent {{unreferenced, date=February 2012 A respondent is a person who is called upon to issue a response to a communication made by another. The term is used in legal contexts, in survey methodology, and in psychological conditioning. Legal usage In ...
(usually in opposition to a petition or an appeal), cross-complainant (a defendant who sues someone else in the same lawsuit), or cross-defendant (a person sued by a cross-complainant). A person who only appears in the case as a
witness In law, a witness is someone who has knowledge about a matter, whether they have sensed it or are testifying on another witnesses' behalf. In law a witness is someone who, either voluntarily or under compulsion, provides testimonial evidence, ei ...
is not considered a party. Courts use various terms to identify the role of a particular party in civil
litigation A lawsuit is a proceeding by a party or parties against another in the civil Civil may refer to: *Civic virtue, or civility *Civil action, or lawsuit *Civil affairs *Civil and political rights *Civil disobedience *Civil engineering *Civil ...
, usually identifying the party that brings a lawsuit as the
plaintiff A plaintiff ( Π in legal shorthand) is the party who initiates a lawsuit A lawsuit is a proceeding by a party or parties against another in the civil Civil may refer to: *Civic virtue, or civility *Civil action, or lawsuit *Civil aff ...
, or, in older American cases, the ''party of the first part''; and the party against whom the case was brought as the
defendant In court proceedings, a defendant is a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic is an interdisciplinary fi ...
, or, in older American cases, the ''party of the second part''. In a criminal case in Nigeria and some other countries the parties are called prosecutor and defendant


See also

* ''
Erga omnes ''Erga omnes'' is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Rom ...
'' * ''
Ex parte ''Ex parte'' () is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the R ...
''
proceeding In academia and librarianship, conference proceeding is a collection of academic papers published in the context of an academic conference or workshop. Conference proceedings typically contain the contributions made by researchers at the conference ...
* ''
Inter partes Inter may refer to: Association football clubs * Inter Milan Football Club Internazionale Milano, commonly referred to as Internazionale () or simply Inter, and known as Inter Milan outside Italy, is an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anyth ...
'' proceeding *
Intervention (law) In law, intervention is a procedure to allow a nonparty, called intervenor (also spelled intervener) to join ongoing litigation, either as a matter of right or at the discretion of the court, without the permission of the original litigants. The ...


References

Legal terminology {{CatAutoTOC Terms Jargon Terminology Terms Terminology Terminology is a general word for the group of specialized words or meanings relating to a particular field, and also the study of such terms and their use. This is also known as termino ...
Law {{law-term-stub