Joinder – uniting, into a single complaint, two or more elements of a lawsuit (i.e. joinder of claims; joinder of parties; joinder of issue), each of which could have been the basis for a separate suit

n. (17c)

1. The uniting of parties or claims in a single lawsuit.  Cf. CONSOLIDATION (3) — join, vb. [1]

1. Acting jointly with one or more other persons; joining. [2]

1. Uniting, in a single complaint, two or more elements of a lawsuit (EXAMPLES: joinder of claims; joinder of parties), each of which could be the basis of a separate suit.

2. Uniting two or more indictments or informations in a single criminal prosecution.

3. A person’s acceptance of an agreement or other transaction to which she is not otherwise bound.

4. Acting jointly with one or more other persons; joining.

     Joinder in civil actions is governed in considerable detail by the rules of civil procedure; in criminal cases by the rules of criminal procedure.  See collusive joinder; compulsory joinder; misjoinder; nonjoinder; permissive joinder; proper parties. See also consolidation of actions; impleadcr; interpleader; third party practice.

joinder of actions See consolidation of actions. 

joinder of claims1. The joining of claims in a lawsuit.  A party asserting a claim against the opposing party, whether as an original claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, may join as many claims as she has. See claim.

joinder of counts1. The joining of separate offenses in an indictment or information. See joinder of offenses. See also count.

joinder of defendants1. Jointly charging two or more criminal defendants in the same indictment or information, a permissible procedure if they are alleged to have participated in the same criminal act or acts.

joinder of indictments1. Two or more indictment or informations tried together, a joinder which may be ordered by the court if the offenses could have been joined in a single indictment or information. See joinder of offenses. — aka joinder of informations.

joinder of issue – a party’s written acceptance or adoption of an opponent’s issue, argument, or formerly disputed point as the basis of argument in a controversy, submitted jointly for decision. — formerly called similiter.

joinder of offenses1. The charging of two or more offenses in separate counts of a single indictment or information.  Such joinder is permissible if the offenses charged are of the same or similar character or are based upon an act or acts that make up a common scheme or plan. See joinder of indictments.

joinder of parties1. The uniting of two or more parties as plaintiffs or as defendants in a lawsuit.  Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the court must decide whether a “just adjudication” requires the joinder of a party who has not been brought into the lawsuit.  The Federal Rules refer to such parties as persons needed for just adjudication.  By comparison, in many states the rules of civil procedure make a distinction between indispensable parties (who must be joined if the lawsuit is to go forward) and necessary parties (who must be joined if possible).  Also see proper parties. [3]

collusive joinder(1883) 1. Joinder of a defendant, usually a nonresident, in order to have a case removed to federal court.  See manufactured diversity under DIVERSITY OF CITIZENSHIP.

compulsory joinder(1901) 1. The necessary joinder of a party if either of the following is true:

(1) in that party’s absence, those already involved in the lawsuit cannot receive complete relief; or
(2) the absent party claims an interest in the subject of an action, so that party’s absence might either impair the protection of that interest or leave some other party subject to multiple or inconsistent obligations. Fed. R. Civ. P. 19(a). — aka mandatory joinder.

fraudulent joinder(1836) 1. The bad-faith joinder of a party, usually a resident of the state, to prevent removal of a case to federal court.

joinder in demurrer(17c) 1. Common-law pleading. A set form of words by which either party accepts or joins in a legal issue; esp., the plaintiff ’s acceptance of the defendant’s issue of law.  See PLEADING (quot). [1]

1. The formal acceptance by the adverse party to an action of the issue of law which is tendered by a party’s demurrer to such adverse party’s pleading. [2]

joinder in pleading (1852) 1. Common law-pleadingOne party’s acceptance of the opposing party’s proposed issue and mode of trial.

joinder of error(1822) 1. A written denial of the errors alleged in an assignment of errors in a criminal case.

joinder of offenses (1836) 1. The charging of an accused with two or more crimes as multiple counts in a single indictment or information.  *  Unless later severed, joined offenses are tried together at a single trial. Fed. R. Crim. P. 8(a).

joinder of parties (1802) 1. The combination of two or more persons or entities as plaintiffs or defendants in a civil lawsuit.

joinder of remedies (1881) 1. The joinder of alternative claims, such as breach of contract and quantum meruit, or of one claim with another prospective claim, such as a creditor’s claim against a debtor to recover on a loan and the creditor’s claim against a third party to set aside the transfer of the loan’s collateral.

nonjoinder See NONIOINDER.

permissive joinder (1903) 1. The optional joinder of parties if

(1) their claims or the claims asserted against them are asserted jointly, severally, or in respect of the same transaction or occurrence, and
(2) any legal or factual question common to all of them will arise. Fed R. Civ. P. 20

pretensive joinder (1972) Joinder of defendants solely to obtain venue in a jurisdiction in which the action could not otherwise be tried.

joinder of documents (1968) The reading together of two or more documents that jointly meet statutory requirements even though one or some of the documents alone would be insufficient.  [1]


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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: 978-0-314-62130-6


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