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n. The inclusion of parties (plaintiffs or defendants) or causes of action (legal claims) in a single lawsuit contrary to statute. Reasons for a court ruling that there is misjoinder include: a) the parties do not have the same rights to a judgment; b) they have conflicting interests; c) the situations in each claim (cause of action) are different or contradictory; or d) the defendants are not involved (even slightly) in the same transaction. In a criminal prosecution the most common cause for misjoinder is that the defendants were involved in different alleged crimes, or the charges are based on different transactions. (See: joinder)
misjoinderthe improper joining of parties as coplaintiffs or codefendants or of different causes of action in one suit.
MISJOINDER, pleading. Misjoinder of causes of action, or counts, consists in
joining, in different counts in one declaration, several demands, which the
law does not permit to be joined, to enforce several distinct, substantive
rights of recovery; as, where a declaration joins a count in trespass with
another in case, for distinct wrongs or a count in tort, with another in
contract. Gould. 6n PI. c. 4, Sec. 98; Archb. Civ. PI. 61, 78 176; Serg. and
Rawle, 358; Dane's Ab. Index, h.t.
2. Misjoinder of parties, consists in joining as plaintiffs or defendants, persons, who have not a joint interest. When the misjoinder relates to the plaintiffs, the defendants may, at common law, plead the matter in abatement, whether the action be real; 12 H. IV., 15; personal; Johns. Ch. R. 350, 438; 12 John. R. 1; 2 Mass. R. 293; or mixed; or it will be good cause of nonsuit at the trial. 3 Bos. & Pull. 235. Where the objection appears upon the face of the declaration, the defendant may demur generally; 2 Saund. 145; or move in arrest of judgment; or bring a writ of error.
3. When in actions ex contractu against several, there is a misjoinder of the defendants, as if there be too many persons made defendants, and the objection appears on the pleadings, either of the defendants may demur, move in arrest of judgment, or support a writ of error; and, if the objection do not appear on the pleadings, the plaintiff may be nonsuited upon the trial, if he fail in proving a joint contract. 5 Johns. R. 280; 2 Johns. R. 213; 11 Johns. R. 101; 5 Mass. R. 270.
4. In actions ex delicto, the misjoinder cannot in general be objected to, because in actions for torts, one defendant may be found guilty and the others acquitted. Archb. Civ. Pl. 79. As to the cases in which a misjoinder may be aided by a nolle prosequi, see 2 Archb. Pr. 218-220.