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To recover a loss by a subsequent gain. In Pleading, to set forth a claim against the plaintiff when an action is brought against one as a defendant. Keeping back of something that is due, because there is an equitable reason to withhold it. A right of the defendant to have a deduction from the amount of the plaintiff's damages, for the reason that the plaintiff has not complied with the cross-obligations or independent covenants arising under the same contract.
n. the right of a defendant in a lawsuit to demand deduction from the amount awarded to plaintiff (party bringing the suit) a sum due the defendant from the plaintiff in the transaction which was the subject of the lawsuit. Example: Laura Landlord sues Tillie Tenant for nonpayment of rent, Tenant is entitled to deduct a deposit made at the commencement of the lease, or an amount Landlord received from re-renting the apartment before the lease expired. A recoupment is not the same as an "offset" (setoff) which can be money owed from any matter, including outside the lawsuit.