Action in personam

Latin for “against the person”. In tort law, actions can be brought either in personam or in rem. The legal concept of an action in personam concerns legal interests arising from obligations and actions between people. It is based on the authority of the Court, or jurisdiction, over a person as an individual rather than jurisdiction over specific property owned by a person. Consequently, if a judgment is made in personam it is binding upon the person first and only subsequently upon a person’s property. Some examples of actions in personam include actions brought in contract disputes, debt recovery and negligence.