Civil Procedure II
A counterclaim is a claim seeking relief brought by a defendant against a plaintiff. Rule 13.
If a counterclaim arises out of the same transaction or occurrence as the plaintiff's claim, it is a compulsory counterclaim. Rule 13(a).
If a compulsory counterclaim is not made, the defendant is precluded from raising it later. R2J § 22.
- Where the court has no jurisdiction over a necessary missing party. Rule 13(a)(1)(B).
- When the defendant has already filed a suit elsewhere on that claim. Rule 13(a)(2)(A).
- When the defendant's claim has not yet accrued at the time of the plaintiff's suit. Rule 13(e).
- Virginia does not have compulsory counterclaim.
Same Transaction or Occurrence
There are two tests for whether two claims arise out of the same transaction or occurrence—the logical relationship test and the same evidence test. Plant v. Blazer Financial Services.
The majority uses the logical relationship test, which states that a claim and counterclaim arise from the same transaction when there is a logical relationship between them.
A "logical relationship" exists when the counterclaim arises from the same "aggregate of operative facts" in that the same operative facts serve as the basis of both claims or the aggregate core of facts upon which the claim rests activates additional legal rights, otherwise dormant, in the defendant. Plant v. Blazer Financial Services.
The minority uses the same evidence test, which states that a claim and counterclaim arise from the same transaction or occurrence when substantially the same evidence will support or refute plaintiff's claim as well as defendant's counterclaim. Plant v. Blazer Financial Services.
This is a narrower test than the logical relationship test.
A defendant may state any counterclaim that is not compulsory, but it must have an independent jurisdictional basis, and the court has discretion whether it comes in or not. Rule 13(b).