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The party who sues in a civil action; a complainant; the prosecution—that is, a state or the United States representing the people—in a criminal case.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. the party who initiates a lawsuit by filing a complaint with the clerk of the court against the defendant(s) demanding damages, performance and/or court determination of rights. (See: complaint, defendant, petitioner)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


the person bringing an action in court. In England and Wales now a claimant. For Scotland called a pursuer.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

PLAINTIFF, practice. He who, in a personal action, seeks a remedy for an injury to his rights. Ham. on Parties, h.t.; 1 Chit. Pl. Index, h.t.; Chit. Pr. Index, h.t.; 1 Com. Dig. 36, 205, 308.
     2. Plaintiffs are legal or equitable. The legal plaintiff is he in whom the legal title or cause of action is vested. The equitable plaintiff is he who, not having the legal title, yet, is in equity entitled to the thing sued for; for example, when a suit is brought by Benjamin Franklin for the use of Robert Morris, Benjamin Franklin is the legal, and Robert Morris the equitable plaintiff. This is the usual manner of bringing suit, when the cause of action is not assignable at law, but is so in equity. Vide Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.; Parties to Actions.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
A Suprema Corte, como efeito da era Reagan e das nomeacoes feitas por esse Presidente e por Bush (pai), torna-se mais conservadora e busca restringir o acesso a justica dos chamados ideological plantiffs (autores ideologicos--a nocao busca expressar a situacao do autor de uma demanda que nao busca a protecao de um direito subjetivo seu, mas sim apresenta-se como o paladino de uma pretensao que afeta muitos, ou todos, como no caso, por exemplo, do meio-ambiente).
The attorney for the plantiffs said the records request was not an attack on city policy, but an assertion of his plaintiffs' right to review the e-mails.
They suggested that Asian American men might be the plantiffs in a future lawsuit.
Plantiffs' attorneys and the courts are getting very involved."
(238) Yet the Ninth Circuit did not agree with the plantiffs' contention that all navigable waters should be included.
Later, in his opinion, Shepherd said, "In effect, the plantiffs' expectation was that the legislature would not disturb the traditional industry practice of ignoring publicly available data about the death of insureds, and that the legislature would not impose any regulatory requirement to find or notify beneficiaries."
Other allegations have a familiar ring to them, having been cited by other plantiffs in various ERP lawsuits.
The plantiffs contend, then, that FMSCA is abdicating its safety fitness obligations to the shipper and broker community, and they have no concern for the resulting prejudicial effect on safe carriers branded under SMS methodology.
This result, however, seems properly attributed to Chancellor Allen, and not to the plantiffs' lawyers.
(33) The judge ruled that much of the alleged harassment constituted protected political speech, and that the plantiffs had failed to show "deliberate indifference" of the university administration to the conduct not amounting to protected speech.
While the girl and her parents decided to remain anonymous in the suit, Rebecca Randles, the plantiffs' lead attorney, said Clay County is where the parents live and "where some of the acts took place."