Cross-Claim – a claim asserted against a codefendant(s) or coplaintiff(s) in a case and that relates to the subject of the original claim or counterclaim

n. (1825)

1. A claim asserted between codefendants or coplaintilfs in a case and that relates to the subject of the original claim or counterclaim.  See Fed. R. Civ. P. 13(g). — aka cross-action; cross-suit. — cross-claim, vb. — cross~claimant, n. [1]

     Excerpt from Charles Alan Wright’s The Law of Federal Courts (5th ed. 1994):

     “The courts have not always distinguished clearly between a cross-claim and a counterclaim; and have used one name where the other is proper under the rules, perhaps because in some states, and in the old equity practice, the term cross complaint or cross-bill is used for What the rules regard as a counterclaim.  Under Rule 13 a counterclaim is a claim against an opposing party, while a cross~claim is against a coparty.  Further there is not the same freedom in asserting cross-claims that the rules provide for counter-claims.  An unrelated claim against an opposing party may be asserted as a permissive counterclaim, but only claims related to the subject matter of the original action, or property involved therein, are appropriate as cross claims.” [2]


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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Charles Alan Wright, The Law of Federal Courts 5 80 at 574 (5th ed. 1994)


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(5th ed. 1994)