LAW 522-001 – Civil Procedure II

Permissive Joinder


Plaintiffs may join in one suit and file a complaint together if:

  1. They assert any right to relief jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or arising out of the same transaction or occurrence, and
  2. Any question of law or fact common to all plaintiffs will arise in the action.

Rule 20(a)(1).

Similarly, a plaintiff may sue multiple defendants in one action if:

  1. Any right to relief is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or arising out of the same transaction or occurrence, and
  2. Any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action.

Rule 20(a)(b).

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.

Logical Relationship

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.

Same Evidence

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.