Plaintiff

Plaintiff in the United States

The person who commences or initiates a civil legal action. A plaintiff is also called a complainant because it is the plaintiff who complains about some kind of legal injury and seeks relief through a lawsuit. The counterpart to the plaintiff in a criminal case is the prosecution who brings charges on behalf of*the victim and the state in the name of the “people.” The party who responds to the initiative of the plaintiff is called the defendant.

See Also

Petitioner (Civil Process), 280; Standing (Civil Process).

Analysis and Relevance

The plaintiff is the point of origin of a civil action. In order to commence the lawsuit, the plaintiff must have standing to sue. That is, the plaintiff must have directly suffered legal injury, allegedly at the hands of the defendant. The plaintiff basically directs the flow of a civil case. The case commences at the initiative of the plaintiff and remains active only so long as the plaintiff wishes. At any point in the civil process, an action may be terminated by the plaintiff. Thus a plaintiff possesses far greater control over a civil action than a victim has in a criminal case.

Notes and References

  1. Definition of Plaintiff from the American Law Dictionary, 1991, California

Plaintiff Definition

He who complains. He who, in a personal action, seeks a remedy for an injury to his rights. 3 Bl. Comm. 25. In Code Practice. The person by whom a civil action is brought.

Plaintiff in Foreign Legal Encyclopedias

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Plaintiff Plaintiff in the World Legal Encyclopedia.
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Plaintiff Plaintiff in the UK Legal Encyclopedia.
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Scan Plaintiff in the appropriate area of law:

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Plaintiff Plaintiff in the Family Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Plaintiff Plaintiff in the IP Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Plaintiff Plaintiff in the Commercial Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Plaintiff Plaintiff in the Criminal Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Plaintiff Plaintiff in the Antritrust Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Plaintiff Plaintiff in the Bankruptcy Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Plaintiff Plaintiff in the Constitutional Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Plaintiff Plaintiff in the Tax Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Plaintiff Plaintiff in the and Finance and Banking Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Plaintiff Plaintiff in the Employment and Labor Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Plaintiff Plaintiff in the Personal Injury and Tort Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Plaintiff Plaintiff in the Environmental Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.

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Legal Issue for Attorneys

He who complains. He who, in a personal action, seeks a remedy for an injury to his rights. 3 Bl. Comm. 25. In Code Practice. The person by whom a civil action is brought.

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Notice

 

This definition of Plaintiff Is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This definition needs to be proofread..

Plain-English Law

Plaintiff as defined by Nolo’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law (p. 437-455):

The person, corporation, or other legal entity that initiates a lawsuit. In certain states and for some types of lawsuits, the term petitioner is used instead of plaintiff.

Practical Information

Note: Some of this information was last updated in 1982

The party who commences a personal action or suit to obtain a remedy for an injury to his rights. See also parties to an action (in U.S. law).

(Revised by Ann De Vries)

What is Plaintiff?

For a meaning of it, read Plaintiff in the Legal Dictionary here. Browse and search more U.S. and international free legal definitions and legal terms related to Plaintiff.

Plaintiff meaning

The party which initiates a lawsuit against a defendant. Ordinarily the plaintiff bears the burden of proof as to the elements of their claim.

City of Vancouver v. Jarvis, 155 P.2d 591, 593 (Wash.).

Plaintiff in the Context of Law Research

The Thurgood Marshall School of Law Library defined briefly Plaintiff as: The person who brings a lawsuit against another.Legal research resources, including Plaintiff, help to identify the law that governs an activity and to find materials that explain that law.

Plaintiff Definition in the context of the Federal Court System

The person who initiates a civil lawsuit.

Cross-Examination of Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s Witnesses

This section examines the Cross-Examination of Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s Witnesses subject in its related phase of trial. In some cases, other key elements related to trials, such as personal injury, business, and criminal litigation, are also addressed.

Handling Tractor Rollover Cases for the Plaintiff

This section examines the Handling Tractor Rollover Cases for the Plaintiff subject in its related phase of trial. In some cases, other key elements related to trials, such as personal injury, business, and criminal litigation, are also addressed.

Concept of Plaintiff

In the U.S., in the context of Judiciary power and branch, Plaintiff has the following meaning: A person who brings a legal action against another. (Source of this definition of Plaintiff : University of Texas)

Plaintiff

Meaning of Plaintiff

In plain or simple terms, Plaintiff means: A person who files a lawsuit.

Resources

See Also

  • Judiciary Power
  • Judiciary Branch

Plaintiff: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Plaintiff. This part provides references, in relation to Plaintiff, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Plaintiff by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Plaintiff and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Plaintiff or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Plaintiff and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Plaintiff. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Plaintiff should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Plaintiff when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

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