Adverse Party Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Adverse Party, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Adverse Party?

n. pleading is one of the papers filed with a court in a civil action, such as a complaint, a demurrer, or an answer. Alternative pleading permits a party to argue two mutually exclusive possibilities. Say for example, submitting an injury complaint alleging that the harm to the defendant caused by the plaintiff was so outrageous that it must have either been intended as a malicious attack or, if not, must have been due to gross negligence.

History and Definition of Adverse Party

An adverse party, in legal terms, is the person or entity on the other side of a lawsuit or legal action. This party is the opponent or the individual being sued, and is typically responsible for defending themselves against the allegations made by the plaintiff. The adverse party is obligated to respond to the complaint filed against them and present their case before the court.

The term "adverse party" has been in use for centuries, and its definition has evolved over time. It is an essential concept in civil litigation and is used to determine which party bears the burden of proof. Adverse parties must have standing, or the ability to prove that they have a legitimate stake in the matter. If they do not have standing or cannot prove their case, the lawsuit may be dismissed.

Examples of Adverse Party

  1. In a divorce case, the adverse party would be the spouse who is being sued for divorce.
  2. In a personal injury case, the adverse party would be the individual or entity accused of causing the injury, such as a negligent driver or a defective product manufacturer.
  3. In a contract dispute, the adverse party would be the party who breached the terms of the contract or failed to fulfill their contractual obligations, such as a vendor who failed to deliver goods as promised.

Legal Terms Similar to Adverse Party

  1. Plaintiff - The party who initiates a civil lawsuit.
  2. Defendant - The party against whom a lawsuit is filed.
  3. Counterclaim - A claim made by the defendant against the plaintiff in response to the plaintiff's original claim.
  4. Third-party defendant - A person or entity added to a lawsuit by the defendant, alleging that they are also liable for the plaintiff's damages.