From Latin, "against a thing." Concerning the status of a particular piece of property.
For instance, in-rem jurisdiction refers to the power of a court over an item of real or personal property. The "thing" over which the court has power may be a piece of land or even a marriage. Thus, a court with only in-rem jurisdiction may terminate a marriage or declare who owns a piece of land. In-rem jurisdiction is based on the location of the property and enforcement follows property rather than person.
Contrast: In personam
See Jurisdiction, Injunction, Civil procedure
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
Latin for "against or about a thing," referring to a lawsuit or other legal action directed toward property, rather than toward a particular person. Thus, if title to property is the issue, the action is "in rem." The term is important since the location of the property determines which court has jurisdiction, and enforcement of a judgment must be upon the property and does not follow a person.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:17 pm