Parties In Lawsuits
In court proceedings, the parties have common designations. In a civil lawsuit, the person who files the lawsuit is called the plaintiff, and the person being sued is called the defendant. In criminal proceedings, one party is the government, called the state, commonwealth, or the people of the United States, and the other party is the defendant. If a case is appealed, the person who files the appeal is called the appellant, and the other side is called either the respondent or the appellee. Numerous variations on these basic designations exist, depending on the court and its jurisdiction. Assigning party designations allows the legal system and its observers to quickly determine the basic status of each party to a lawsuit.
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