next friend


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Next Friend

An individual who acts on behalf of another individual who does not have the legal capacity to act on his or her own behalf.

The individual in whose name a minor's lawsuit is brought, or who appears in court to represent such minor's interest. The French term prochein ami has been used to designate such an individual, but the term Guardian Ad Litem is more commonly used.

At Common Law, when an individual was unable to look after his or her own interests or manage his or her lawsuit, the court would appoint a person to represent that individual's legal interests. In court terminology this person was called a next friend, which is derived from the French term prochein ami. Individuals requiring a next friend included minors, persons who were mentally ill or mentally retarded, infirm or senile persons, and others whose disabilities prevented them from managing their affairs.

State statutes now set the qualifications and duties of a person who acts as a next friend, but these laws more commonly designate this person a guardian ad litem, or a court-appointed special advocate. Regardless of the designation, this person's responsibilities are now confined to representing a minor or incompetent person in a lawsuit or court proceeding. At common law, a next friend represented a plaintiff, whereas a guardian ad litem represented a defendant. This distinction has been removed in modern law.

A next friend is not a party to a lawsuit but an officer of the court. When the lawsuit is concluded, the next friend's duty ends. The next friend has no right to control the property of the person she or he represents or to assume custody of that person. These rights may be given to a person designated by a court as a minor's or incompetent person's guardian.

Guardians ad litem are commonly used in family and juvenile courts, where the best interests of the child require an independent, neutral person to safeguard the child's rights. The increased number of these representatives has led states to develop training and certification programs for individuals wishing to serve as next friends or guardians ad litem. Though attorneys also may represent juveniles, next friends provide valuable assistance to the courts.

Cross-references

Infants.

next friend

n. a person (often a relative) who voluntarily helps a minor or incompetent in legal matters, particularly by filing a lawsuit. However, this informal practice has been supplanted in almost all states by petitions for appointment of a guardian ad litem at the time the law suit is filed. (See: guardian ad litem)

next friend

a person acting on behalf of an infant or other person under legal disability.

NEXT FRIEND. One who, without being regularly appointed guardian, acts for the benefit of an infant, married woman, or other person, not sui juris. Vide Amy; Prochein Amy.

References in periodicals archive ?
In addition to next friend standing, there is also some authority indicating that an advocate may seek relief in federal court if he is authorized to appear as the agent of a party with standing.
Although the concerns surrounding the petitions of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners differ greatly from those in the state criminal-conviction context, the courts have applied the same rules for habeas corpus petitions in both circumstances--specifically, the doctrine of next friend standing.
The next friend to join the circle was Jonathon Yarwood, a Florida-based coach, to whom Campbell turned on the recomm- endation of fellow New Zealand golfer Stephen Scahill.
Smith filed a series of next friend petitions in state and federal courts that wound up delaying the execution by three days.
In Brown, on July 1, 1993, plaintiff Brown's next friend was struck and injured while attempting to cross the intersection of M-119, West Bluff Street, and State Street in the city of Harbor Springs, Michigan.
Plaintiff becomes claimant, writ - claim form, pleading - statement of case, statement of claim or points of - particulars of claim, summons or motion - application, interrogatories and further and better particulars - requests for information, discovery - disclosure, leave of the court - permission of the court, minor/infant - child, in camera or in chambers - in private, next friend or guardian ad litern - litigation friend, payment into court - Part 36 payment, subpoena - witness summons, taxation of costs - assessment of costs, taxing master - costs judge, Anton Piller order - search order, Mareva injunction - freezing injunction, inter partes - on notice, originating summons - alternative procedure, and ex parte - without notice
Michelle picks her next friend, Joez, who lives in Salem, because of her perfect makeup and her joblessness, and the fact that she takes poetry courses at the community college--just that.
120) Kellogg then presented the same claims in a next friend habeas petition in federal court on October 23, 1990.
Through Next Friend Press Southworth has also published A Farm in the Firelands of Ohio by Dayton A.
As next friend of a minor and individually, Carrie Larkin, filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
The court should allow a well-informed and capable next friend to voluntarily come alongside the child solely for the purposes of moving for the appointment of counsel for the child.

Full browser ?