What is a Crossclaim?

A crossclaim is a claim by a plaintiff against another plaintiff or a defendant against another defendant.  One way to think of a crossclaim is any claim by one party against another party on the same side of the “v.” in the caption.

For example, if Patty and Penelope sue David, but Patty also sues Penelope in the same case, then Patty’s claim against Penelope would be a crossclaim.

Don’t confuse a crossclaim with a counterclaim.  In a counterclaim, a party being sued, sues the party that filed the lawsuit against him.  For example, if Plaintiff Patty sues Defendant David, a claim by David against Patty in the same litigation would be a counterclaim.

Crossclaims (and counterclaims) are permitted in the federal court system pursuant to Rule 13.  State courts also allow crossclaims as well as counterclaims.

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