Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 decade ago

Parties of a U.S. Supreme Court case?

In court cases there is always two parties, usually plaintiff & defendant, and if the case goes to an appellate court it becomes appellant & appellee. What are the parties in a U.S. Supreme Court case? I know someone has to be the petitioner, but is there another party title?


The case is McLaughlin v. United States. It is a supreme court case. McLaughlin is the petitioner, and I'm trynig to figure out if the United States in this case has a party title (I'm briefing the case, and need to list the parties and their titles).

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The parties are whoever the original parties at the lower court level were.

    If it was a Federal crime in the beginning, it would be "US v Smith". If it was a State crime, it would be "Nevada v Smith". If it's a case where someone sued a government body, it's a little more complex, and varies by State. It "might" be "Smith v California", but it might also be "Smith v CA Dept of Corrections". (Think "Brown v Board of Education", for example"), and in some States, the relevant government official is named (Think "Roe v Wade")

    If it was a suit between States it would be "California v Nevada", or a foreign country suing the US it could be "France v US", or, in the case of a monarchy "Regina v US" ("Regina" being Latin for "The Queen")

    EDIT - "The United States" is the respondent. That is the correct way to refer to them, because it is "The United States" that he is bringing the action against, not any specific agency.


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