What is a Joinder?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 16 January 2020
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A joinder is a situation in which multiple parties or claims are joined together because the facts of the situation pertain to all. This term can be used in a number of different senses in the legal community. For a joinder to go through, it must usually be brought before a judge who will review the situation and the evidence presented to confirm that the parties or claims can be safely joined without causing harm to anyone.

In one example of a joinder, multiple parties can file suit together or add a party to a suit. This occurs when the suit concerns the same factual information, as in a class action lawsuit where people join together as plaintiffs to recover damages. In this case, people must be able to show that all of the people who have joined the suit have equal rights and are entitled to a share of any damages which may be awarded. Joinder can also impact defendants, in which case it must be demonstrated that all parties share liability equally. Likewise, in a joinder of claims, multiple related claims can be joined in one suit rather than forcing the court to hear a series of suits about the matter.


Criminal suits can also involve joinder, as may be the case when someone is tried on several related counts or when multiple people are accused of the same crime. For instance, someone accused of kidnapping and murder after abducting and killing someone would face both charges together because the same facts are involved. In another example, a group of defendants could be accused of conspiracy together and tried as a group.

In a situation known as compulsory joinder, someone must be added to a case for it to be resolved and the case will not proceed until this party is added. In permissive joinder, a case can be tried without someone's involvement, but people also move to add this person to the case if they wish. In both cases, it must be shown that the same rights, responsibilities, and facts are involved or the joinder will be deemed injurious and it will not be permitted.

People may use the term “joinder agreement” to refer to an agreement developed for the purpose of establishing a trust. This involves drawing up a legal document to join parties with common interests, and the document must be properly prepared and filed for the trust to take effect.


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