Petitioner Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Petitioner?

n. A person or a party who files or signs a petition or a request of relief.

History and Meaning of Petitioner

The term petitioner is commonly used in legal proceedings and refers to an individual or organization that submits or signs a petition requesting relief or action from a court. The petitioner is the party that initiates legal proceedings and brings a case or controversy before a court, administrative agency, or other governing body. The term has a long history in the common law, and its use is pervasive throughout the United States legal system.

Petitioners are often seeking some form of relief, whether it be monetary damages, an injunctive order, or a declaratory judgment. The specific relief sought will depend on the nature of the case and the applicable laws and regulations. In many cases, petitions are filed with administrative agencies or regulatory bodies that have the power to grant or deny relief.

Examples of Petitioner

  1. In a divorce case, one spouse may file a petition for dissolution of marriage, making them the petitioner.

  2. An individual may file a petition for habeas corpus in federal court, seeking to challenge the legality of their detention by law enforcement or government authorities.

  3. A group of citizens may file a petition with their local government seeking to change a law or policy that they believe is detrimental to their community.

Legal Terms Similar to Petitioner

  1. Respondent: The party that responds to the petitioner's allegations and requests relief in a legal proceeding.

  2. Plaintiff: The party that initiates a civil lawsuit in court by filing a complaint.

  3. Appellant: The party that appeals a decision of a lower court to a higher court.