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A plaintiff (Π in legal shorthand), also known as a claimant or complainant, is the term used in some jurisdictions for the party who initiates a lawsuit (also known as an action) before a court. By doing so, the plaintiff seeks a legal remedy, and if successful, the court will issue judgment in favor of the plaintiff and make the appropriate court order (e.g., an order for damages).

In some jurisdictions the commencement of a lawsuit is done by filing a summons, claim form and/or a complaint. These documents are known as pleadings, that set forth the alleged wrongs committed by the defendant or defendants with a demand for relief. In other jurisdictions the action is commenced by service of legal process by delivery of these documents on the defendant by a process server; they are only filed with the court subsequently with an affidavit from the process server that they had been given to the defendant(s) according to the rules of civil procedure.

Not all lawsuits are plenary actions, involving a full trial on the merits of the case. There are also simplified procedures, often called proceedings, in which the parties are termed petitioner instead of plaintiff, and respondent instead of defendant. There are also cases that do not technically involve two sides, such as petitions for specific statutory relief that require judicial approval; in those cases there are no respondents, just a petitioner.

Terminology[edit]

In England and Wales, the term Claimant has replaced Plaintiff after the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 came into force on 26 April 1999.[1] In Scottish law, a plaintiff is referred to as a pursuer and a defendant as a defender. "Complainant" may also denote the complaining witness in a criminal proceeding.

In Hong Kong and the United States, as well as in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the legal term "plaintiff" is still in use. American usage traditionally limits the application of terms such as "claimant" and "claim form" to extrajudicial process in insurance and administrative law. After exhausting remedies available through an insurer or government agency, an American claimant in need of further relief would turn to the courts, file a complaint (thus establishing a real court case under judicial supervision), and become a plaintiff.

The word plaintiff can be traced to the year 1278 and stems from the Anglo-French word pleintif meaning "complaining". It was identical to plaintive at first and receded into legal usage with the -iff spelling in the 15th century.[2]

A plaintiff identified by name in a class action is called a named plaintiff.

The party to whom the complaint is against is the defendant; or in the case of a petition, a respondent. Case names are usually given with the plaintiff first, as in Plaintiff v. Defendant.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Justice.gov.uk
  2. ^ "Etymology Online". etymonline.com. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plaintiff — Please support Wikipedia.
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Hartford Courant
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:50:01 -0700

BRIDGEPORT — A federal jury decided against former Major League Baseball player José Offerman on Tuesday, awarding $940,000 to the man who sued Offerman for hitting him in the head with a bat during a minor league game in 2007. Johnathan ...
 
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Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:08:37 -0700

A Wayne County, Mich., Circuit Judge has been removed from office after he had an affair with a woman who had a case before him. The Michigan Supreme Court's Judicial Tenure Commission found that Wade McCree had a sexual relationship with Geniene ...
 
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Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:10:44 -0700

District of Columbia — which was filed in 2009 and finally decided Saturday. Lyon had also been an original plaintiff in the landmark 2008 Supreme Court ruling, District of Columbia v. Heller , that overturned the city's ban on keeping handguns in the ...
 
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Tue, 29 Jul 2014 10:03:45 -0700

According to the complaint, on July 12, 2013, the plaintiff, 123 Powell, LLC, entered into a short sale contract to purchase real property owned by the defendant located 1824 Grove Street, Ridgewood, New York. The sale was to have closed no later than ...
 
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Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:10:01 -0700

The Plaintiff's one argument alleges that the lack of the quorum renders the Bill unconstitutional due to Parliaments failure to follow the law of procedure. After submissions, Court adjourned the case for tomorrow July 31st at 9.30am. This issue could ...
 
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Wed, 30 Jul 2014 02:45:00 -0700

An Illinois federal district court has ruled that a class plaintiff whose motion for class certification was denied may not avoid that outcome by amending his complaint to introduce a new legal theory and revised class definition if the complaint could ...

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Wed, 30 Jul 2014 21:18:45 -0700

Rejected University of Texas applicant Abigail Fisher talks to press after her attornies argued her case in front of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. The case, which was put before the Supreme Court in ...
 
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