Real Party In Interest Statutes; Federal Rule 17(a)

Pursuant to FR Civ P, Rule 17(a), 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:

1) an executor;

2) an administrator;

3) a guardian;

4) a bailee;

5) a trustee of an express trust;

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

7) a party authorized by statute.

If a statute requires all actions to be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest, the assignee of a chose in action to enforce a claim can sue in his or her own name since the assignee is the real party in interest.  When the assignee is the only real party in interest within the meaning of a statute, the assignor is prohibited from suing on the assigned claim.  However, in the case of a partial assignment, the assignee owns the part assigned to him or her and the assignor owns the balance. Consequently, each is the real party in interest as to his or her part of the claim and should sue separately subject to the rule prohibiting the splitting of a cause of action.  In the case of an assignment of a collection or a security, the assignee can sue in his or her own name on an assigned account or chose in action, although he/she must account to the assignor for the proceeds of the action.


Inside Real Party In Interest Statutes; Federal Rule 17(a)