Claim Joinder

Plant v. Blazer
  • Alleging violations of Truth in Lending Act.
  • Rule 13(a): Compulsory counterclaims—shall state... if it arises out of same transaction—must bring it them.
    • Rule 13(b): Permissive—may state any claim that has...
    • Rule 13 like Rule 18, can always sue them back—why do we care if compulsory or permissive counterclaim, since defendant has chosen to bring it?
      • Jurisdiction because if it's compulsory (that is, arises out of same transaction or occurrence), then it provides basis for being in federal court
      • Permissive—Rule 13(b): have to independently provide justification for being in federal court.
    • So does collection counterclaim arise out of same transaction or occurrence as Truth in Lending claim?
      • Will they use the same evidence/contract?
      • Lender: you signed this valid contract, and you didn’t pay.
      • Plaintiff: whether I knew it or not, you didn't go through steps federal law requires.
  • Why does Blazer really want counterclaim?
    • To deter people from bringing actions—if they can counterclaim, they can deter plaintiffs.
    • But this would deter enforcement of Truth in Lending Act.
    • But also run risk of flooding federal court with picky collection counterclaims—not the right place for collections actions!
    • Basics in Rule 13(a)'s approach to what constitutes a transaction for these purposes.
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