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Court Opinion

Who's Suing Whom? Terms And Abbreviations In Case Titles

The titles of court cases frequently contain terms and abbreviations that help to indicate the nature of the dispute. The accompanying chart identifies and explains many of the terms that may appear in case titles.

Term Definition Example
ad hoc For this; for this purpose Capital City Press v. Mouton, Judge ad Hoc
ad litem For the suit; for the litigation Estate of Langhorn v. Laws, Administrator Ad Litem
adm'r Administrator Grievance Adm'r v. Lange
adm'r de bonis non Administrator of the remainder of a partially settled estate. Vogel, Adm'r De Bonis Non v. Wells
ad valorem According to value; a tax imposed on value of property Aerospace Workers Inc. v. Dept. of Revenue, Division of ad Valorem Taxes
a.k.a., a/k/a Also known as Luis Barras, a.k.a. Luis Ramos v. State of Texas
alter ego The other self (Alter egoasserts that the defendants are one for purposes of liability) Ledford v. Mining Specialists, Inc., and Its Alter Ego, Point Mining, Inc.
amicus curiae Friend of the court; one with an interest in the case, but not a party Livingston v. Guice. United States of America, Amicus Curiae
appellant Party appealing a court's decision to a higher court Moore, Appellant v. Derwinski, Appellee
appellee Party against whom an appeal is taken Moore, Appellant v. Derwinski, Appellee
certiorari, cert. Writ requiring a certified record of a case from a court In re Petition of Johnson for a Writ of Certiorari
complainant One who applies to a court for legal redress Florida Bar, Complainant v. Clement, Respondent
d.b.a., d/b/a Doing business as M./t/L. Rendleman d.b.a. Commercial Insulators, Inc. v. Clarke
de facto In fact; in deed; actually McMullen, a De Facto Guardian v. Muir
defendant Party defending against or denying allegations Gretencord, Plaintiff v. Ford Motor Co., Defendant
defendant in error Appellee May v. State of Wisconsin, Defendant in Error
duces tecum A command to produce certain evidence In re Grand Jury Subpoena Duces Tecum
et alius, et allii, et al. And another; and others City of Lubbock et alius v. Knox

Term Definition Example
et uxor; et ux. And wife Kostohryz et ux. v. McGuire
et vir And husband Broadwater v. Dorsey et vir
ex officio By virtue of the office Tenneco Oil Co. v. Stephens, Ex Officio Tax Collector
ex parte By or for one party Ex parte Johnson
ex'r Executor Marilyn Haudrich as Ex'r v. Howmedica
ex relatione, ex rel. On information or on behalf of an interested party State ex rel. Miller v. Miller
feme sole A single woman Holman, Feme Sole v. Stephen F. Austin Hotel
guardian ad litem Guardian for the suit or litigation (concerning an incompetent or minor) Grace M., as Guardian ad Litem for Laurie M., a Minor v. Oakland Unified School District
habeas corpus Writ commanding that a person be released from unlawful detention In re Writ of Habeas Corpus for Martinez
in personam Against the person Claudio v. United States and Ken's Marine Service, Inc., in personam
in re In the matter of In re Estate of Lange
in rem Against the thing; against the property Scindia Steam Navigation Co., Ltd. v. 3,952.536 Metric Tons Peerless Eagle Coal, in rem, et al.
inter alia Among others Kot v. Inter alia, North East Detective Division
inter vivos Between the living Rudd v. Ruth inter vivos Family Trust
mandamus Writ commanding the performance of an act or the restoration of illegally deprived rights Ex parte Sierra Club Petition for Writ of Mandamus v. Alabama Environmental Management Commission
n.k.a., n/k/a Now known as Bernasek n.k.a. Staron v. Bernasek
nunc pro tunc After a deadline and given retroactive effect Application of West for Admission to the Bar nunc pro tunc
pendente lite Pending the suit; during the litigation Parsley, Administrator Pendente Lite v. Harlan
petitioner Party filing a petition Walton, Petitioner v. Walton, etc., et al., Respondents
plaintiff Party bringing a civil action by filing a complaint Oetting, Plaintiff v. United States, Defendant
plaintiff in error Appellant Miles, Plaintiff in Error v. Justice of the Peace Court #13
pro forma As a matter of form Pentecostal Church of God of America, a Pro Forma Corporation v. Hughlett
pro hac vice For this occasion Mohawk Assoc. and Furlough, Inc., as Owner Pro Hac Vice of the Tug Mohawk for exoneration from liability

Term Definition Example
pro se For one's own behalf; appearing for oneself Loftin, Individually, pro se v. United States
quasi As if; analogous to Mount Carbon Metropolitan District, a Quasi-Municipal Corporation, v. Lake George Co.
respondent Appellee Forehand, Petitioner v. Fogg, Respondent
sub nom Under the name Jones v. Lujan, sub nom. Hodel
versus, vs., v. Against Roe v. Wade

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