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What is the meaning of Nicaragua v. United States?

Are there any other ways to state the name of a court case? Does it indicate who won the case?

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  • 5 years ago
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    The first named party is the party that brought the case. Generally called the plaintiff in a civil case (Someone suing someone else) or the prosecution in a criminal case. (Someone being charged with a crime.)

    The second named is the defendant in a criminal case, and may be called the defendant or the respondent - different States use a different term - in a civil case. The name of the case means nothing as to who won.

    In your example, the government of Nicaragua is suing the government of the United States.

    Some other examples might be :

    "People v. Martinez" - in California criminal cases are brought in the name of "The people"

    "Roe v. Wade" - Jane Roe brought a civil suit against the State of Texas, but the official respondent was Henry Wade, the Dallas District Attorney.

    "United States v. 434 Main Street, Tewksbury, Mass." OK, this sounds funny - how does the government sue an address? The answer is that this is a "civil forfeiture" of a motel. The DEA reported that there had been 15 arrests for drug crimes at the motel over a 14 year period. This, they claimed, meant that the motel itself was guilty of "facilitating" drug trafficking, and since the owners owned it with no mortgage, the DEA asked the court to forfeit it to the government.

    "United States vs. $32,820.56 from Mrs. Lady’s, Inc. checking account." - Mrs Lady's is a Mexican restaurant that accepts only cash. The government said that the owner deposited cash - typically much less than $5,000 - each Monday in her checking account. They alleged that she did that rather than waiting till she had over $10,000 at a time to deposit so as to bypass the Federal money laundering law that requires reports of single deposits over $10,000 to be reported to the DEA, so they seized the money from her bank, even though they never charged her with a crime.

    Richard

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