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Legal Dictionary

In personam

“In personam” is a Latin term used in legal contexts, specifically in civil procedure and jurisdiction. It pertains to a type of legal action or lawsuit that is filed against a specific individual or entity. When a lawsuit is filed “in personam,” it means that the court has the authority over the person (or persons) involved in the case. This is typically to determine their rights, liabilities, or obligations.

On the other hand, there are also “in rem” and “quasi in rem” actions in the legal field. “In rem” means “against the thing” in Latin. It refers to legal actions that are directed against a specific property or asset rather than a person. Here, the court’s jurisdiction is based on its authority over the property itself, and the outcome of the case can affect the property’s rights or ownership.

“Quasi in rem” actions are a mixture of “in personam” and “in rem” proceedings. In these cases, the lawsuit is directed against a particular person, but it is still related to specific property or assets owned by that person. The court’s jurisdiction may be based on the connection between the person and the property, allowing the court to adjudicate both the individual’s personal rights and the property’s rights.

“In personam” actions are the most common type of civil lawsuits. They involve legal disputes between individuals, businesses, or other entities. These lawsuits are usually filed to seek remedies such as damages, injunctions, or specific performance. They require personal service of legal documents to the defendant, notifying them of the lawsuit and providing an opportunity to respond.

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