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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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20595 news items

NBCNews.com

Today's News-Herald
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 00:07:30 -0700

While plaintiff Lance Krig's underlying complaint was ultimately dismissed, his concerns proved to be prophetic when Charles Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City died Monday night from a gunshot to the head. Vacca suffered the fatal injury while instructing ...
 
NewsBusters (blog)
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 04:48:45 -0700

The New York Times is not blind to the lawsuit that conservative publicist and historian Craig Shirley has filed against left-wing author Rick Perlstein, claiming he purloined chunks of his 2004 book "Reagan's Revolution." They not only reported a ...
 
The Times-Picayune - NOLA.com
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 05:00:00 -0700

Kathy Kleibert addresses plaintiff's concerns in abortion clinic suit. abortion-protesters-181x133.jpg. A federal judge could rule Friday on a restraining order that would prevent an anti-abortion law from taking effect. (Grant Therkildsen). Print ...

Southeast Texas Record

Southeast Texas Record
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 08:37:44 -0700

The plaintiff says the defendants were wrong in misrepresenting the terms of the policy, which does not say the SSDI disability payments must be approved solely on the basis of disability caused solely by the accident. The defendants told the plaintiff ...

Northwest Herald

Northwest Herald
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:11:40 -0700

Kyle Grillot - kgrillot@shawmedia.com A worker check equipment atop the Rohm & Haas Chemical Manufacturing Co. Tuesday, August 26, 2014 in Ringwood. For 17 years, Rohm & Haas workers dumped “toxic chemical waste that causes cancer” into a pit at ...

Madison County Record

Madison County Record
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 06:12:39 -0700

Plaintiff counsel Steven Blonder of Chicago had told Williams that Garman's election serves as a base line for comparison to Karmeier's election. Blonder said that if State Farm changed its conduct between elections, the change would be probative evidence.
 
ABA Journal
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 04:15:00 -0700

A Georgia judge has ordered Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan to pay $175,000 in attorney fees, saying the firm had a strategy of trying to "litigate [the] plaintiff to death." Judge Dax Lopez of DeKalb County ordered the payment of attorney fees as a ...
 
The Economist
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 08:00:00 -0700

HAMAS, the Islamic militant group that runs Gaza and conducts terrorist attacks in Israel, does not tend to answer court summons. But Arab Bank, one of the oldest financial institutions in the Middle East, does. This week, after a decade of legal toing ...
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