Legal Memorandum: Permissive Joinder of Parties

Issue: In Virgin Islands court, is a proposed joinder of a defendant’s counsel permitted by Fed. R. Civ. P. 20?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Joinder provisions; Joinder of claims against multiple defendants
Jurisdiction: Federal, Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 497 F.2d 1330; 102 F. Supp. 2d 1066; 927 F. Supp. 67
Cited Statutes: Fed. R. Civ. P. 20, 20(a)
Date: 11/01/2006

The Rule provides in pertinent part:

All persons (and any vessel, cargo or other property subject to admiralty process in rem) may be joined in one action as defendants if there is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative, any right to relief in respect of or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences and if any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action.  A plaintiff or defendant need not be interested in obtaining or defending against all the relief demanded. 


Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a).  “The joinder provisions of the Federal Rules are very liberal.”  Kedra v. City of Philadelphia, 454 F. Supp. 652, 661 (E.D. Pa. 1978).  In that case, the court observed that the reason for liberality in Rule 20 “is that unification of claims in a single action is more convenient and less expensive and time-consuming for the parties and the court.”  Id. at 661.  Thus, absolute identity of all of the events giving rise to the claims is not necessary; rather, the Rule is interpreted to allow “‘all reasonably related claims for relief by or against different parties to be tried in a single proceeding.'”  Id. (quoting Mosley v. Gen. Motors Corp., 497 F.2d 1330, 1333 (8th Cir. 1974)).  See Etten v. Lovell Mfg. Co., 4 F.R.D. 233, 234 (W.D. Pa. 1945) (it was proper to […]

Subscribe to Litigation Pathfinder

To get the full-text of this Legal Memorandum ... and more!

(Month-to-month and annual subscriptions available)