Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V19, Page 632 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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NEXT FRIEND, in law, the phrase used for a person who represents in an action another person who is under disability to maintain a suit on his own behalf. This disability arises from infancy or mental incapacity, consequently every application to the court on behalf of an infant or a lunatic must be made through a next friend (prochein amy, proximus amicus). Previous to the Married Women's Property Act 1882 it was also usual for a married woman to sue by a next friend, but that act, allowing a married woman to sue in all respects as a feme sole, has rendered a next friend unnecessary in her case. In the case of an infant the father is prima facie the proper person to act as next friend; in the father's absence the testamentaryguardian if any; but any person not under disability may act as next friend so long as he has no interest in the action adverse to that of the infant. A married woman cannot, however, act as next friend. An infant defends a suit, not by a next friend, but by a guardian ad litem. In the case of a lunatic, he sues by his committee, but if he has no committee, or if the committee has some interest adverse to the lunatic, he sues by his next friend. A next friend has full power over the proceedings in the action as if he were an ordinary plaintiff, but he is not entitled to be heard in person.
End of Article: NEXT FRIEND
NEWTOWNARDS (pron. Newtondrds)

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