What is COUNTERCLAIM? Definition of COUNTERCLAIM in Black's Law Dictionary - Legal dictionary - Glossary of legal terms.
A claim presented by a defendant in opposition to or deduction from the claim of the plaintiff. A species of setoff or recoupment introduced by the codes of civil procedure in many of the states, of a broad and liberal character. Quoted in Wollan v. McKay, 24Idaho, 691, 135 P. 832, 837.
It is an offensive as well as a defensive plea, which is not necessarily confined to the justice of plaintiff's claim, and it represents the right of the defendant to have the claims of the parties counterbalanced in whole or in part, with judgment to be entered for the excess, if any. Olsen v. McMaken & Pentzien, 139 Neb. 506, 297 N.W. 830, 833.
Its sole requisites are that it must tend to defeat or diminish plaintiff's demand, and that demands must be reciprocal. Bond v. Farmers & Merchants Nat. Bank, Los Angeles, 64 Cal.App.2d 842, 149 P.2d 722, 724; Dobbins v. Horsfall, 58 Cal. App.2d 23, 136 P.2d 35, 38.
It is in effect a new suit in which the party named as defendant under the bill is plaintiff and the party named as plaintiff under the bill is defendant. Roberts Min. & Mill. Co. v. Schrader, C.C.A.Nev., 95 F.2d 522, 524.
The term is broader in meaning than set off or recoupment, and includes them both. Williams v. Williams, 192 N.C. 405, 135 S.E. 39, 40; Fricke v. W. E. Fuetterer Battery & Supplies Co., 220 Mo.App. 623, 288 S.W. 1000, 1002; Curtis-Warner Corporation v. Thirkettle, 99 N.J.Eq. 806, 134 A. 299, 302; Otto v. Lincoln Sa y . Bank of Brooklyn, 51 N.Y.S.2d 561, 563, 268 App.Div. 400; 'Etna Life Ins. Co. v. Griffin, 200 N.C. 251, 156 S.E. 515, 516.
The counterclaim is a substitute for the crossbill in equity. McAnarney v. Lembeck, 97 N.J.Eq. 361, 127 A. 197, 198; Vidal v. South American Securities Co., C.C.A.N.Y., 276 F. 855. It is but another name for a crosspetition, and may be so styled, especially in actions prosecuted by equitable proceedings. Taylor v. Wilson, 182 Ky. 592, 206 S.W. 865, 866; Clark v. Duncanson, 79 OkI. 180, 192 P. 806, 809, 16 A.L.R. 450.
Under rule 30 of Federal rules in equity see Fed.Rules Civ.Proc. rules 8, 13, 28 U.S.C.A., "counterclaim" means any claim, not such as to constitute a set-off, which, in equity, a defendant might assert against the plaintiff in the same suit. Terry Steam Turbine Co. v. B. F. Sturtevant Co., D.C.Mass., 204 F. 103, 105.
A counterclaim may be any cause of action in favor of defendants or some of them against plaintiffs or some of them, a person whom a plaintiff represents or a plaintiff and another person or persons alleged to be liable. New York Civ.Prac.Act, § 266.
A "counterclaim" must be a cause of action, and seeks affirmative relief, while a defense merely defeats the plaintiff's cause of action by a denial or confession and avoidance, and does not admit of affirmative relief to the defendant. Lovett v. Lovett, 93 Fla. 611, 112 So. 768, 780; Secor v. Siver, 165 Iowa, 673, 146 N.W. 845, 847.
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