Legal Term Definitions for Litigants on the Offense:

Plaintiff – a party who brings a civil suit in a court of law.

Complainant – a person who files a formal accusation of a crime or a plaintiff in a civil suit (court of equity).

Petitioner – a party who presents a petition to a court or other official body, especially when seeking relief.

Appellant – a party who appeals a lower court’s decision, usually seeking reversal of that decision.


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     All short descriptions of legal terms found throughout this page were compiled using


Back to Various Types of Parties

Essential Terminology

Intro to U.S. Law

Legal Precepts Adopted (from Europe) into The U.S. Constitution

§ § of Law Embedded into the Constitution Pursuant to the American Revolution

Indian Country Law

Federal Rules of Procedure

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