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MULTIFARIOUSNESS, equity pleading. By multifariousness in a bill, is
understood the improperly joining in one bill distinct matters, and thereby
confounding them; as, for example, the uniting in one bill, several matters,
perfectly distinct and unconnected, against one defendant; or the demand of
several matters of distinct natures, against several defendants in the same
bill. Coop. Eq. Pl. 182; Mitf. by Jeremy, 181; 2 Mason's R. 201; 18 Ves. 80;
Hardr. R. 337; 4 Cowen's R. 682; 4 Bouv. Inst. n. 4165.
2. In order to prevent confusion in its pleadings and decrees, a court of equity will anxiously discountenance this multifariousness. The following case will illustrate this doctrine; suppose an estate should be sold in lots to different persons, the purchasers could not join in exhibiting one bill against the vendor for a specific performance; for each party's case would be distinct, and would depend upon its own peculiar circumstances, and therefore there should be a distinct bill upon each contract; on the other hand, the vendor in the like case, would not be allowed to file one bill for a specific performance against all the purchasers of the estate, for the same reason. Coop. Eq. Pl. 182; 2 Dick. Rep. 677; 1 Madd. Rep. 88; Story's Eq. Pl. Sec. 271 to 286. It is extremely difficult to say what constitutes multifariousness as an abstract proposition. Story, Eq. Pl. Sec. 530, 539; 4 Blackf. 249; 2 How. S. C. Rep. 619, 642; 4 Bouv. Inst. n. 4243.