Rule 3.603 Interpleader

(A) Availability.

(1) Persons having claims against the plaintiff may be joined as defendants and required to interplead when their claims are such that the plaintiff is or may be exposed to double or multiple liability. It is not a ground for objection to the joinder that the claims of the several claimants or the titles on which their claims depend do not have a common origin or are not identical, but are adverse to and independent of one another, or that the plaintiff denies liability to any or all of the claimants in whole or in part.

(2) A defendant exposed to liability as described in subrule (A)(1), may obtain interpleader by counterclaim or cross-claim. A claimant not already before the court may be joined as defendant, as provided in MCR 2.207 or MCR 2.209.

(3) If one or more actions concerning the subject matter of the interpleader action have already been filed, the interpleader action must be filed in the court where the first action was filed.

(B) Procedure.

(1) The court may order the property or the amount of money as to which the plaintiff admits liability to be deposited with the court or otherwise preserved, or to be secured by a bond in an amount sufficient to assure payment of the liability admitted.

(2) The court may thereafter enjoin the parties before it from commencing or prosecuting another action regarding the subject matter of the interpleader action.

(3) On hearing, the court may order the plaintiff discharged from liability as to property deposited or secured before determining the rights of the claimants.

(C) Rule Not Exclusive. The provisions of this rule supplement and do not in any way limit the joinder of parties permitted by MCR 2.206.

(D) Disposition of Earlier Action. If another action concerning the subject matter of the interpleader action has previously been filed, the court in which the earlier action was filed may:

(1) transfer the action, entirely or in part, to the court in which the interpleader action is pending,

(2) hold the action entirely or partially in abeyance, pending resolution of the interpleader action,

(3) dismiss the action, entirely or in part, or

(4) upon a showing of good cause, proceed with the action, explaining on the record the basis of the decision to proceed.

(E) Actual Costs. The court may award actual costs to an interpleader plaintiff. For the purposes of this rule, actual costs are those costs taxable in any civil action, and a reasonable attorney fee as determined by the trial court.

(1) The court may order that the plaintiff's actual costs of filing the interpleader request, tendering the disputed property to the court, and participating in the case as a disinterested stakeholder be paid from the disputed property or by another party.

(2) If the plaintiff incurs actual costs other than those described in subrule (1) due to another party's unreasonable litigation posture, the court may order that the other party pay those additional actual costs.

(3) An award made pursuant to this rule may not include reimbursement for the actual costs of asserting the plaintiff's own claim to the disputed property, or of supporting or opposing another party's claim.