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necessary party

n. a person or entity whose interests will be affected by the outcome of a lawsuit, whose absence as a party in the suit prevents a judgment on all issues, but who cannot be joined in the lawsuit because that would deny jurisdiction to the particular court (such as shifting jurisdiction from a state to federal court). In this rare technical situation, a necessary party who is not in the suit differs from an "indispensable party," who must be joined if the lawsuit is to proceed, and from a "proper party," who could be joined but is not essential.

See also: indispensable party  proper party 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications