Inter Partes Law and Legal Definition

The term inter partes is the Latin for “between the parties.” It may refer to contracts, conveyances or other transactions having legal significance. Lawsuits in which all interested parties have been served with adequate notices and are given a reasonable opportunity to attend and to be heard are referred to as inter partes proceedings or hearings. When a judgment is given, subject to any right of appeal, all the parties are bound by the result. However, anyone who was not a party to those proceedings and who can demonstrate a legitimate interest in reopening the issue is entitled to petition the court for the right to be heard. In some circumstances, the judgment is given in rem, or directed towards specific property, and it binds everyone whether they were a party to the case or not. This is done to avoid endlessly relitigating the same issues that have already been determined by the court.