Proper Party

From LegalLanding

A Proper Party is a person or entity who has an interest (economic or legal rights) in the subject matter of a lawsuit and can join in the suit as she wishes, or may be brought into the suit (as an unnecessary party) by one of the parties to the legal action. However, the judgment may leave some matters undecided. A proper party is distinguished from a necessary party which the court will order joined in the suit if any judgment is to be reached.

Example: Karinne Kahn and Ethan Erickson both own land with cabins up the hill from Sully Sullivan's ranch, and for years both Kahn and Erickson have driven up a dirt road that runs across Sullivan's property to reach their cabins. Kahn brings a quiet title action against Sullivan to establish a "prescriptive easement" over the dirt road, but Erickson does not. The court rules in favor of Kahn, but does not say anything about Erickson. In this case, Erickson is a proper party, but did not choose to participate, and was not necessary for Kahn to obtain a judgment for herself.

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