Rule 2.203 Joinder of Claims, Counterclaims, and Cross-Claims

(A) Compulsory Joinder. In a pleading that states a claim against an opposing party, the pleader must join every claim that the pleader has against that opposing party at the time of serving the pleading, if it arises out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the action and does not require for its adjudication the presence of third parties over whom the court cannot acquire jurisdiction.

(B) Permissive Joinder. A pleader may join as either independent or alternate claims as many claims, legal or equitable, as the pleader has against an opposing party. If a claim is one previously cognizable only after another claim has been prosecuted to a conclusion, the two claims may be joined in a single action; but the court may grant relief only in accordance with the substantive rights of the parties.

(C) Counterclaim Exceeding Opposing Claim. A counterclaim may, but need not, diminish or defeat the recovery sought by the opposing party. It may claim relief exceeding in amount or different in kind from that sought in the pleading of the opposing party.

(D) Cross-Claim Against Co-Party. A pleading may state as a cross-claim a claim by one party against a co-party arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the original action or of a counterclaim, or that relates to property that is the subject matter of the original action. The cross-claim may include a claim that the party against whom it is asserted is or may be liable to the cross-claimant for all or part of a claim asserted in the action against the cross-claimant.

(E) Time for Filing Counterclaim or Cross-Claim. A counterclaim or cross-claim must be filed with the answer or filed as an amendment in the manner provided by MCR 2.118. If a motion to amend to state a counterclaim or cross-claim is denied, the litigation of that claim in another action is not precluded unless the court specifies otherwise.

(F) Separate Trials; Separate Judgment. If the court orders separate trials as provided in MCR 2.505(B), judgment on a claim, counterclaim, or cross-claim may be rendered in accordance with the terms of MCR 2.604 when the court has jurisdiction to do so. The judgment may be rendered even if the claims of the opposing party have been dismissed or otherwise disposed of.

(G)   Joining Additional Parties

(1)   Persons Who May be Joined. Persons other than those made parties to the original action may be made parties to a counterclaim or cross-claim, subject to MCR 2.205 and 2.206.

(2)   Summons. On the filing of a counterclaim or cross-claim adding new parties, the court clerk shall issue a summons for each new party in the same manner as on the filing of a complaint, as provided in MCR 2.102(A)-(C). Unless the court orders otherwise, the summons is valid for 21 days after the court issues it.