Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Relator Definition:

An informer; a person who has supplied the facts required for a criminal prosecution or a civil suit, or who institutes legal action on behalf of the government.

In criminal prosecutions in some states, this would be indicated by the use of the expression ex. rel. as in The State of California ex. rel. Robert Smith v. George Doe.

In the context of the law in the United States of America, US ex rel. Jones v. Horizon Healthcare Corp., Justice Clay of the United States Court of Appeals wrote:

"A relator is a party in interest who is permitted to institute a proceeding in the name of the People or the Attorney General when the right to sue resides solely in that official."

Similarly, in Wynn v Philip Morris Inc., these words of Justice Buttram of the United States District Court (Alabama):

"The relator is the individual who brings the action on behalf of the state."

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