Respondent Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Respondent?

(n) Respondent is the persons against whom a suit, case or appeal is filed in a court who in turn is required to answer , or act according to the directions issued by the court till conclusion of the legal proceedings

History and Meaning of Respondent

In legal terminology, a respondent is an individual, company, or other legal entity that is accused or sued in a court of law. When a person or party files a legal case or petition against another, the accused is known as the respondent. In a civil case, the respondent is the person who is defending the case against the plaintiff or claimant who filed the complaint.

Examples of Respondent

Here are some examples of the term "Respondent" in use:

  • In a divorce case, the respondent is the spouse who is being sued for a divorce by his or her partner.
  • In an employment lawsuit involving discrimination, the respondent could be the employer who is being accused of discriminatory behavior.
  • In a criminal case, the respondent would be the defendant who is being charged with a crime.
  • If a petitioner files a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, the respondent is usually the person who has custody of the petitioner.

Legal Terms Similar to Respondent

Here are some related terms that are often used in legal cases:

  • Plaintiff: The person who files a civil lawsuit, otherwise known as the claimant.
  • Defendant: The person who is being sued or accused of a crime in a legal case.
  • Petitioner: The person who is filing a petition in court.
  • Appellant: A party who files an appeal after losing a case in a lower court.
  • Appellee: The party against whom the appeal is filed.