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RULE 20. PERMISSIVE JOINDER OF PARTIES

July 25, 2011

RULE 20.01: PERMISSIVE JOINDER.

All persons may join in one (1) action as plaintiffs if they assert any right to relief jointly, severally, or in the alternative in respect of or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences and if any question of law or fact common to all these persons will arise in the action. All persons may be joined in one (1) action as defendants if there is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative, any right to relief in respect of or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences and if any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action. A plaintiff or defendant need not be interested in obtaining or defending against all the relief demanded. Judgment may be given for one or more of the plaintiffs according to their respective rights to relief, and against one or more defendants according to their respective liabilities.

RULE 20.02: SEPARATE TRIALS.

The court may make such orders as will prevent a party from being embarrassed, delayed, or put to expense by the inclusion of another party against whom the party asserts no claim and who asserts no claim against the party, and may order separate trials or may make other orders to prevent delay or prejudice.

Advisory Commission Comments. Rule 19 deals with situations where certain parties must be joined. Rule 20 deals with permissive joinder. The rule is designed to allow a single suit to determine the rights and liabilities of all persons when those rights and liabilities arose out of the same transaction or occurrence and when a common question of law or fact exists among all parties. Where the liberality of the permissive joinder provisions works a hardship on a particular party or parties, the court is empowered to order separate trials or make other orders necessary to prevent delay or prejudice.

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