Legal Terms of the Day: Claimant and Respondent

Hi There!

If you have read the previous case of Olguin v. Paraguay I guess there are several terms that are somewhat unfamiliar and makes us second-guess. I know I used to find the terms they use quiet confusing, as it’s those words you don’t hear in a daily conversation. Anyways, one of the terms that might be in mind is Claimant and Respondent.

Okay so I will definitely cut it short and use the definition mentioned through Black’s Law Dictionary, here goes:

Claimant         :In admiralty practice. A person who lays claim to property seized on a libel in rem, and is authorized and admitted to defend in action.[1]

Respondent   :In equity practice. The party who makes an answer to a bill or other proceeding in chancery.

In admiralty. The party who contends against an appeal.[2]

So anyways, I would like to explain the meaning simply by imagining someone who files a claim (Claimant) since that person feels that he/ she has been wronged by the other person. Keep in mind that it is one person/ party that “feels” to be disadvantaged whether or not he was disadvantaged or not is another matter. The Respondent on the other hand is that other person that has been called for of disadvantaging the first party and is given the right to answer the claim or to respond to the claim against him/ her.

[1] Black, Henry Campbell, Black Laws Dictionary Definitions of the Terms and Phrases of American and English Jurisprudence, Ancient and Modern Revised Fourth Edition, 1968, ST. Paul Minn, West Publishing Co, page 314.

[2] Ibid, page 1476. 

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