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• The real party in interest in whose behalf certain suits are brought by the state or the Attorney General when the right to sue resides solely in that official;
• the real party in interest in an ex rel. suit; also
• a person in whose behalf certain writs are issued, such as informations in the nature of quo warranto.
Thus, a habeas corpus action is styled “United States ex rel. [defendant] vs [warden].” Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016