Cross-Complaint Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Cross-Complaint, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Cross-Complaint?
It refers to a written complain by the defendant against the plaintiff whoch had filed an original complaint against the defendant, is known as cross complaint. The defendant can file a complain against a third party also and all the parties are liable for the action. Defendant in this case is known as cross complainant and the the party against which he/she complains is cross defendant.
History and Meaning of Cross-Complaint
A cross-complaint is a legal device that allows a defendant to bring new claims against the plaintiff in response to the plaintiff's original complaint. By filing a cross-complaint, the defendant can shift the focus of the lawsuit from their own alleged wrongdoing to the plaintiff's alleged wrongdoing.
The use of cross-complaints dates back several centuries and has been an important tool in civil litigation. The purpose of a cross-complaint is to streamline the litigation process by allowing all related claims to be litigated in a single lawsuit.
In many cases, a cross-complaint is filed when the defendant believes that the plaintiff's lawsuit is without merit and that the plaintiff is actually the one who should be held liable for the dispute at hand.
Examples of Cross-Complaint
- In a breach of contract lawsuit, the defendant could file a cross-complaint against the plaintiff alleging that the plaintiff did not fulfill their obligations under the contract.
- In a personal injury lawsuit, the defendant could file a cross-complaint against the plaintiff alleging that the plaintiff's own negligence was the cause of the injury.
- In a property dispute lawsuit, the defendant could file a cross-complaint against the plaintiff alleging that the plaintiff trespassed on their property.
Legal Terms Similar to Cross-Complaint
- Counterclaim: A counterclaim is similar to a cross-complaint in that it allows a defendant to bring new claims against the plaintiff. The difference is that a counterclaim is filed in response to the plaintiff's original complaint, while a cross-complaint is filed as a separate document.
- Third-Party Complaint: A third-party complaint is a type of cross-complaint that is filed against a third party who is not initially part of the lawsuit.
- Joinder: Joinder is the process of bringing multiple claims or parties into a single lawsuit. Cross-complaints and counterclaims are examples of joinder.