Compulsory Counterclaim – if a defendant fails to assert a compulsory counterclaim in the original action, that claim may not be brought in a later, separate action


1. Brought about by operation of law or by moral considerations, or induced by the use of physical or mental force. [1]

1. Required or compelled; mandated by legal process or by statute <compulsory counterclaim>[2]

compulsory counterclaim:

1. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that any demand which the defendant has against the plaintiff, growing out of the same transaction or occurrence which is the subject matter of the plaintiff’s action, must be pleaded in response to the plaintiff’s suit, or be barred. [1]

1. A counterclaim that must be asserted to be cognizable, usually because it relates to the opposing party’s claim and arises out of the same subject matter.  *  If a defendant fails to assert a compulsory counterclaim in the original action, that claim may not be brought in a later, separate action (with some exceptions).  See Fed. R. Civ. P. 13(a). [2]

adj. (17c)

1. Capable of being heard and determined by a court.  i.e. within the jurisdiction of the court.

2. knowable. [1]

1. Capable of being known or recognized <for purposes of establishing standing, a plaintiff must allege a judicially cognizable injury>.

2. Capable of being identified as a group because of a common characteristic or interest that cannot be represented by others <American Indians qualify as a cognizable group for jury-selection purposes>.

3. Capable of being judicially tried or examined before a designated tribunal; within the court’s jurisdiction <the tort claims are not cognizable under the consumer-protection statute>. [2]


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[1]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition by Jack Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

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


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