Party Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Party, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Party?
It refers to the person or entity who has been claiming or responding to the claims in a particular lawsuit filed in the court. It can be referred to as plaintiff, defendant, petitioner or respondent or anyone else who have interest in the outcome of the trial or who has been the part of the agreement or contract. Each party has right to know and receive information regarding the proceedings.
History and Meaning of Party
In law, the term "party" refers to an individual, group of individuals, or entity (such as a company) that is involved in a legal proceeding, either as a plaintiff, defendant, complainant, or respondent. The concept of party in a legal context dates back to ancient Roman law, where parties were divided into two categories: actor, the plaintiff, and reus, the defendant.
In modern times, the definition of party has expanded to include anyone with a direct interest in the outcome of a lawsuit, including witnesses, victims, and beneficiaries. The term party is also used in contract law, where it refers to the individuals or entities that have entered into a contract with one another.
Examples of Party
- In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff (injured party) and defendant (responsible party) are the main parties involved.
- In a divorce case, both spouses are considered parties to the proceedings.
- In a class action lawsuit, the named plaintiffs and defendants are the parties to the lawsuit.
- In a real estate contract, the buyer and seller are the parties to the agreement.
- In a shareholder dispute, the shareholders involved are considered parties to the legal proceedings.
Legal Terms Similar to Party
- Plaintiff: the party who initiates a lawsuit by filing a complaint in court.
- Defendant: the party who is being sued in a legal proceeding.
- Complainant: the party who files a complaint or accusation against someone else in a legal proceeding.
- Respondent: the party who is answering or responding to a complaint or accusation against them.
- Witness: a person who provides testimony or evidence in a legal proceeding, but is not considered a party to the lawsuit.