Document Type

Article

Comments

Joinder and Splitting of Causes of Action, 25 Michigan Law Review 393 (1927)

Abstract

The pleading rules concerning joinder and splitting of causes of action are complements of each other, though designed to achieve different objectives. The joinder rule is that separate causes cannot be "joined" or pleaded in the same suit unless they fall within one of the classes of permissible joinder specified in the codes. The purpose of the rule is to prevent too wide a field of litigation and too diverse issues in a single suit and thus to avoid a case of undue confusion and complexity. The rule against splitting is that a single cause shall not be "split" or divided among several suits. This is designed to prevent litigation of the same question in different suits. It therefore compels a certain extension of the issues in a single suit on pain of forfeiting the opportunity to litigate them elsewhere. Each rule is at least based upon reasons of common sense, though applications of each may at times seem questionable. As the terms in which they are stated indicate, their application in particular cases will depend upon the meaning given to a term of frequent use in the codes-the "cause of action", or group of operative facts giving occasion for judicial action. The difficulties arising in applying the rules are due in the main to the fact that this term is of indefinite content, and the courts have divergent views as to its exact meaning as well as to the policy involved.

Date of Authorship for this Version

1927

Keywords

Joinder and Splitting of Causes of Action, 25 Michigan Law Review 393 (1927)

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