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indispensable party

n. a person or entity which must be included in a lawsuit so that the court can make a final judgment or order that will conclude the controversy. Example: Ned Neighbor brings an action to enforce his claimed right to cross the property of Oliver and Olivia Owner, but only names Oliver as a defendant. To make it possible for the court to order the property owners to honor Ned's easement, Olivia as a co-owner is an indispensable party. The procedural solution is for Neighbor to amend his complaint or petition to join Olivia as a defendant.


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