Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 22

Rule 22. Interpleader


(1) By a Plaintiff. Persons with claims that may expose a plaintiff to double or multiple liability may be joined as defendants and required to interplead. Joinder for interpleader is proper even though:

the claims of the several claimants, or the titles on which their claims depend, lack a common origin or are adverse and independent rather than identical; or
the plaintiff denies liability in whole or in part to any or all of the claimants.

(2) By a Defendant. A defendant exposed to similar liability may seek interpleader through a crossclaim or counterclaim.

(b) RELATION TO OTHER RULES AND STATUTES. This rule supplements—and does not limit—the joinder of parties allowed by Rule 20. The remedy this rule provides is in addition to—and does not supersede or limit—the remedy provided by 28 U.S.C. §§1335, 1397, and 2361. An action under those statutes must be conducted under these rules.

Essential Points

  • Interpleader is a process that allows a party in possession of something  (the stakeholder), say a sum of money,  to cause the claimants competing over their rights to the money to litigate against each other.  The court can decide between the competing claimants who has the right to the money so the stakeholder knows to whom to give the money.
  • A post on interpleader can be found on the USLawEssentials blog.
  • There are two types of interpleader: Rule Interpleader (Rule 22) and Statutory Interpleader (28 USC §1335).  Among other things statutory interpleader provides different rules for subject matter jurisdiction, which you can read about here.
  • A video on interpleader is below: