Adj. from Latin “against or about a thing,” referring to a lawsuit or other legal action directed toward property, rather than toward a particular person. Thus, if title to property is the issue, the action is “in rem.”
The term is important since the location of the property determines which court has jurisdiction and enforcement of a judgment must be upon the property and does not follow a person. “In rem” is different from “in personam,” which is directed toward a particular person.