is Latin for "against a thing".
In a lawsuit, an action
is directed towards some specific piece of property, rather than being a claim for, say, monetary compensation against a person (which is an
orpersonal action). It focuses on proprietary title to property. Land is an example of a case where, when the title (e.g.who owns a house) is in dispute, an
action is used to deliver the land itself back to the rightful owner.The distinction between an
action and an
action is relevant to which jurisdiction a court casemay need to be filed in, for the purposes of conflict of laws and civil procedure. In an
action the right jurisdiction would be where the property actually is.
Garner, Bryan (2006).
Black's Law Dictionary
. St. Paul, MN: Thompson/West. pp. 362.