Litigant – one of several types of plaintiffs or defendants in a court action

     This page is continued from “Person” – Litigation Terms:



1. A party to a lawsuit; the plaintiff or defendant in a court action, whether an individual, firm, corporation, or other entity. [1]

1. A party to a lawsuit; a person engaged in litigation. [2]

Technical Terms for
Various Types of 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.


prosecutor – an attorney who represents the state or federal government in criminal prosecution, or a private person who carries on a criminal or civil action. — aka public (or private, depending) prosecutor; state’s attorney; public commissioner.

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

Technical Terms for
Various Types of Litigants on the Defense:

defendant – a person sued in a civil proceeding or accused in a criminal proceeding.

respondant – the party against whom an appeal is taken to a higher court; the appellee or the defendant in a suit in equity.

third-party defendant – a party brought into a lawsuit by the original defendant.

appellee – a party against whom an appeal is taken from a lower court to a higher court & whose role is to respond to that appeal.


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