Defendant

Defendant

About Defendant

A defendant or defender ( in legal shorthand) is any party required to answer a plaintiff's complaint in a civil lawsuit, or any party that has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute. (Respondent is the parallel term used in a proceeding which is commenced by petition.) In criminal law, a defendant is anyone tried as the accused. But convention in Scotland does not recognise the use of the term 'defendant' in criminal proceedings; the terms 'accused' or 'panel' are used instead. Defendants in civil actions usually make their first court appearance voluntarily in response to a summons. But criminal defendants are often taken into custody by police and brought before a court under an arrest warrant. Historically, civil defendants could be taken into custody under a writ of capias ad respondendum and be forced to post bail before being released.

Contributions by Defendant, ClueBot NG, and James500.