FRCP 17(a), Ratification of Commencement & Real Party In Interest | Adask’s law


(A.D. 2004)

Rule 17(a) Real Parties in Interest:

“Every action shall be prosecuted in the name of [under the authority of] the real party in interest [beneficiary]. An executor, administrator, guardian, bailee, trustee of an express trust [e.g., The Constitution of The State of Texas], a party with whom or in whose name a contract has been made for the benefit of another, or a party authorized by statute [implied charitable trust of “this state”?] may sue in that person’s own name without joining the party for whose benefit the action is brought; and when a statute of the United States so provides, an action for the use or benefit ofanother shall be brought in the name of the United States[Not USA?] No action shall bedismissed on the ground that it is not prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest until a reasonable time has been allowed after objection [by the defendant] for ratification of commencement of the action by, or joinder or substitution of, the real party in interest; and such ratification, joinder, or substitution shall have the same effect as if the action had been commenced in the name of the real party in interest.”

(A.D. 2008)

Rule 17. Plaintiff and Defendant; Capacity; Public Officers


(1) Designation in General. An action must be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest. The following may sue in their own names without joining the person for whose benefit the action is brought:

(A) an executor;

(B) an administrator;

(C) a guardian;

(D) a bailee;

(E) a trustee of an express trust;

(F) a party with whom or in whose name a contract has been made for another’s benefit; and

(G) a party authorized by statute.

(2) Action in the Name of the United States for Another’s Use or Benefit. When a federal statute so provides, an action for another’s use or benefit must be brought in the name of the United States.

(3) Joinder of the Real Party in Interest. The court may not dismiss an action for failure to prosecute in the name of the real party in interest until, after an objection, a reasonable time has been allowed for the real party in interest to ratify, join, or be substituted into the action. After ratification, joinder, or substitution, the action proceeds as if it had been originally commenced by the real party in interest.

Adask's law

This last week, an email briefly banged around the internet concerning “ratification of commencement,” “real party in interest” and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCPs) # 17.That email alleged that the “ratification of commencement” was “vitally important info,” “the missing link to our processes,” and caused the email’s author to be “stunned by the revelation of this rule 17 and its impact on EVERY CASE in this country.”

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