proper party

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All parties fall within one of the following three categories: (1) proper parties; (2) necessary parties; and (3) indispensable parties

Proper parties are ones whose interest may be affected by a judgment, but whose presence is not essential in order for the court to adjudicate the rights of others. Proper parties may be added to a lawsuit through a permissive joinder.

Example: In an action for negligence where two defendants are jointly and severally liable, each defendant is a proper party. The plaintiff has a right to sue either of the defendants, but only one of the defendants is required.

[Last updated in July of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]