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8 replies   
In a US criminal proceeding, is the indictee termed "defendant" or "accused"?
Authoricon12 May 08, 16:19
Indicter and indictee are "Kläger" and "Verklagter" in civil proceedings.

"Defendant"is the "Angeklagter" and the "prosecutor" is the "Ankläger" (Staatsanwalt.
#1AuthorHelmi (U.S.) (236620) 12 May 08, 16:32
Technically, it's always the "defendant." Certainly, though, "the accused" is used as a synonym, especially in testimony, questioning, or even arguments. But the technically proper term is "defendant."
#2AuthorKonibono12 May 08, 16:33
Thanks for the help.
But Helmi: If I am indicted on a criminal charge, then I must be an indictee? Why do you say that "indictee" only relates to a civil trial (I presume you mean 'civil' in the sense of 'non-criminal')?

I actually only used indictee to explain what I mean, I didn't actually think it was a real live word that has common usage in the courts (my backround is in Australian law).
#3Authoricon12 May 08, 17:23
In a civil (i.e., non-criminal) trial, the plaintiff sues and the defendant is the party sued. In some civil matters (such as divorce), the word "respondent" may be used. For that matter, "petitioner" sometimes applies to the person seeking legal action in a civil matter, but in other special circumstances.

In general, it would be best to find examples from the US state concerned, as there may be some difference in terminology between the states.
#4AuthorKonibono12 May 08, 18:47
civil trail - plaintiff v defendant OR applicant/petitioner v respondent: tick!

criminal trial - defendant: tick!

What I don't get is why, if "indictment" relates to a criminal charge, "indictee" would be used in a civil context but not in a criminal context?

#5Authoricon12 May 08, 18:59
@ icon, because after someone is indicted on a criminal charge that person becomes a defendant.

I only used indicter and indictee as an example for the different German terms. See?
#6AuthorHelmi (U.S.) (236620) 12 May 08, 19:04
I wouldn't use "indictee" for a civil matter. OED backs this idea up: indictee = "A person indicted or charged with a crime." You may find http://dictionary.law.com/ helpful, though I cannot vouch for its accuracy.
#7AuthorKonibono12 May 08, 19:04
@ helmi: haha. I used indictee because i wanted to describe the figure, without using a word that I thought actually belonged in a legal context. The fact that i was only using it thus didn't alert me to the fact that you were too!
#8Authoricon12 May 08, 19:19
i Only registered users are allowed to post in this forum
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