Real party in interest
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In law, the real party in interest is the one who actually possesses the substantive right being asserted and has a legal right to enforce the claim (under applicable
substantive law Substantive law is the set of laws that governs how members of a society are to behave.Substantive Law vs. Procedural Law: Definitions and Differences, Study.com/ref> It is contrasted with procedural law, which is the set of procedures for making, ...
). Additionally, the "real party in interest" must sue in his own name. In many situations, the real party in interest will be the parties themselves (i.e.,
plaintiff A plaintiff (pi (letter), Π in List of legal abbreviations, legal shorthand) is the party who initiates a lawsuit (also known as an ''action'') before a court. By doing so, the plaintiff seeks a legal remedy. If this search is successful, the co ...
and
defendant In court proceedings, a defendant is a Legal personality, person or object who is the Party (law), party either accused of committing a crime in Criminal procedure, criminal prosecution or against whom some type of civil relief is being sought in ...
).


Applications

In
California law The law Law is a set of rules that are created and are law enforcement, enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of longstandi ...
, when a case goes up on writ of mandate (California's version of ''
mandamus (; ) is a judicial remedy in the form of an order from a court to any government, subordinate court, corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to a ...
'') the appellant goes first in the case caption on appeal as the petitioner, and the superior court becomes the respondent. The true opponent is then listed below those names as the "real party in interest". This is how a number of famous California cases like '' Burnham v. Superior Court of California'' (1990) ended up with such unusual names. In Michigan law, the real-party-in-interest rule recognizes that litigation should be begun only by a party having an interest that will nsuresincere and vigorous advocacy. When a
trustee Trustee (or the holding of a trusteeship) is a legal term which, in its broadest sense, is a synonym for anyone in a position of trust and so can refer to any individual who holds property, authority, or a position of trust or responsibility to t ...
is a party to a lawsuit, the real party in interest is the
beneficiary A beneficiary (also, in trust law, ''cestui que use'') in the broadest sense is a natural person or other legal entity who receives money or other employee benefit, benefits from a benefactor (law), benefactor. For example, the beneficiary of a lif ...
of the
trust Trust often refers to: * Trust (social science) Trust is the willingness of one social entity, party (the trustor) to become vulnerable to another party (the trustee) on the presumption that the trustee will act in ways that benefit the trus ...
. In the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
, Rule 17 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (officially abbreviated Fed. R. Civ. P.; colloquially FRCP) govern civil procedure Civil procedure is the body of law that sets out the rules and standards that court A court is any person or insti ...
expressly provides that trustees are the real party in interest when it is necessary to sue on behalf of the estate. A beneficiary may sue under these circumstances only when the trustee refuses or neglects to bring suit. When funds belonging to a party are held on account, but not necessarily in trust, by a financial institution (e.g., a bank checking account is garnished by a third party who claims a valid unpaid debt) the bank is typically sued as nominal
defendant In court proceedings, a defendant is a Legal personality, person or object who is the Party (law), party either accused of committing a crime in Criminal procedure, criminal prosecution or against whom some type of civil relief is being sought in ...
. Of course, the real party in interest is the owner of the account, who has an absolute right to intervene and protect his assets.


See also

*
Beneficial owner Beneficial owner is a legal term where specific property rights ("use and title") in Equity (law), equity belong to a person even though legal title of the property belongs to another person. Beneficial owner is subject to a state's statutory law ...


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Real Party In Interest Civil procedure