Counter Claim

Counter Claim in the United States

Demand made by a defendant against the plaintiff in a civil action. A counter claim is a response to a claim. Instead of seeking to defend or deny the plaintiffs claim, the defendant files a counter claim or action against the plaintiff. The counter claim is a method designed to contest the plaintiffs complaint by the filing of an independent cause of action. A compulsory counter claim is one stemming from the same fact situation as the plaintiffs initial claim. A permissive counter claim does not arise out of the original incident or transaction.

See Also

Answer (Civil Process) Cross Claim (Civil Process).

Analysis and Relevance

A counter claim allows a defendant to do more than merely defend against a legal action. The counter claim permits a defendant to set forth a claim of his or her own that might entitle the defendant to reduce or offset what might be owed the plaintiff. In the most successful scenario, the defendant would actually win the case on the counter claim. Where a mandatory counter claim is pursued, a trial would proceed in much the same way as it would in the absence of a counter claim. If the counter claim stems from a totally separate fact situation, a separate case is required. As a result, restrictions exist on permissive counter claims. A counter claim is a particular response to a civil action. A plaintiff might, for example, sue to obtain the full purchase price of some item from a buyer, the defendant. The defendant could either attempt to defend not paying the full price or file a counter claim alleging, for example, that the purchase was made on the basis of false representation.

Notes and References

  1. Definition of Counter Claim from the American Law Dictionary, 1991, California

Counter Claim: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Counter Claim. This part provides references, in relation to Counter Claim, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Counter Claim by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Counter Claim and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Counter Claim or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Counter Claim and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Counter Claim. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Counter Claim should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Counter Claim when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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