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RULE 14. THIRD-PARTY PRACTICE

July 25, 2011

RULE 14.01: WHEN DEFENDANT MAY BRING IN THIRD PARTY.

At any time after commencement of the action a defending party, as a third-party plaintiff, may cause a summons and complaint to be served upon a person not a party to the action who is or may be liable to the third-party plaintiff for all or part of the plaintiff’s claim against him. The third-party plaintiff need not obtain leave to make the service if the third-party complaint is filed not later than ten (10) days after service of the third party plaintiff’s original answer. Otherwise the third-party must obtain leave on motion upon notice to all parties to the action. The person served with the summons and third-party complaint, hereinafter called the third-party defendant, shall make his or her defenses to the third-party plaintiff’s claim as provided in Rule 12 and counterclaims against the third-party plaintiff and cross-claims against other third-party defendants as provided in Rule 13. The third-party defendant may assert against the plaintiff any defenses which the third-party plaintiff has to the plaintiff’s claim. The third-party defendant may also assert any claim against the plaintiff arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the plaintiff’s claim against the third-party plaintiff. The plaintiff may assert any claim against the third-party defendant arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the plaintiff’s claim against the third-party plaintiff, and the third-party defendant thereupon shall assert any defenses as provided in Rule 12 and his or her counterclaim and cross-claims as provided in Rule 13. Any party may move to strike the third-party claim, or for its severance or separate trial. A third-party defendant may proceed under this rule against any person not a party to the action who is or may be liable to the third-party defendant for all or part of the claim made in the action against the third-party defendant.

RULE 14.02: WHEN PLAINTIFF MAY BRING IN THIRD PARTY.

When a counterclaim is asserted against a plaintiff, the plaintiff may cause a third party to be brought in under circumstances which under this rule would entitle a defendant to do so.

Advisory Commission Comments. Rule 14 allows a defendant to bring in, as a third-party defendant, any new party who is or may be liable to defendant for all or part of the plaintiff’s claim against the defendant. Third-party defendants have all of the rights as to cross-claims and counterclaims as do the original parties to the suit, including the right to bring in additional parties who may be liable to the third-party defendant for the claims asserted against him or her. If a counterclaim is asserted against a plaintiff, the plaintiff may bring in new parties under the same circumstances as if the plaintiff were a defendant. The rule thus makes it possible for ultimate liability to be determined in a single suit where there are several parties whose rights and liabilities are interconnected. A third-party claim is subject to being stricken or tried separately on motion of any party.

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