Rule 20 – Permissive joinder of parties

(a) Persons Who May Join or Be Joined. (1) Plaintiffs. Persons may join in one action as plaintiffs if: (A) they assert any right to relief jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences; and (B) any question of law or fact common to all plaintiffs will arise in the action. (2) Defendants. Persons—as well as a vessel, cargo, or other property subject to admiralty process in rem—may be joined in one action as defendants if: (A) any right to relief is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences; and (B) any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action.
(3) Extent of Relief. Neither a plaintiff nor a defendant need be interested in obtaining or defending against all the relief demanded. The court may grant judgment to one or more plaintiffs according to their rights, and against one or more defendants according to their liabilities.

(b) Protective Measures. The court may issue orders—including an order for separate trials—to protect a party against embarrassment, delay, expense, or other prejudice that arises from including a person against whom the party asserts no claim and who asserts no claim against the party.

Selected Committee Notes 

The provisions for joinder here stated are in substance the provisions found in England, California, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York. They represent only a moderate expansion of the present federal equity practice to cover both law and equity actions.

With this rule compare also [former] Equity Rules 26 (Joinder of Causes of Action), 37 (Parties Generally—Intervention), 40 (Nominal Parties), and 42 (Joint and Several Demands).

The provisions of this rule for the joinder of parties are subject to Rule 82 (Jurisdiction and Venue Unaffected).

Note to Subdivision (a). The first sentence is derived from English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 16, r. 1. Compare Calif.Code Civ.Proc. (Deering, 1937) §§378, 379a; Ill.Rev.Stat. (1937) ch. 110, §§147–148; N.J.Comp.Stat. (2 Cum.Supp., 1911–1924), N.Y.C.P.A. (1937) §§209, 211. The second sentence is derived from English Rules Under the Judicature Act (he Annual Practice, 1937) O. 16, r. 4. The third sentence is derived from O. 16, r. 5, and the fourth from O. 16, r.r. 1 and 4.

Note to Subdivision (b). This is derived from English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 16, r.r. 1 and 5.

Key Civ Pro Laws (MBE/MEE)

Constitutional Provisions

U.S. Code

FRCP

  • Rule 3 – Commencing an action
  • Rule 4 – Summons
  • Rule 6 – Computing and extending time
  • Rule 7 – Pleadings allowed
  • Rule 8 – General pleading rules
  • Rule 9 – Pleading special matters
  • Rule 11 – Signing pleadings, motions, and other papers
  • Rule 12 – Defenses and objections
  • Rule 13 – Counterclaim and crossclaim
  • Rule 14 – Third-party practice
  • Rule 15 – Amended and supplemental pleadings
  • Rule 16 – Pretrial conferences, scheduling, management
  • Rule 19 – Required joinder of parties
  • Rule 20 – Permissive joinder of parties
  • Rule 22 – Interpleader
  • Rule 23 – Class actions
  • Rule 24 – Intervention
  • Rule 26 – Duty to disclose
  • Rule 30 – Depositions by oral examination
  • Rule 31 – Depositions by written questions
  • Rule 33 – Interrogatories
  • Rule 34 – Producing documents, electronically stored information, and tangible things
  • Rule 35 – Physical and mental examinations
  • Rule 36 – Requests for admission
  • Rule 37 – Failure to make disclosures or to cooperate in discovery
  • Rule 38 – Right to a jury trial
  • Rule 41 – Dismissal of actions
  • Rule 42 – Consolidation; separate trials
  • Rule 45 – Subpoena
  • Rule 47 – Selecting jurors
  • Rule 48 – Number of jurors; verdict; polling
  • Rule 49 – Special verdict; general verdict and questions
  • Rule 50 – Judgment as a matter of law in a jury trial
  • Rule 51 – Instructions to the jury; objections; preserving a claim of error
  • Rule 52 – Findings and conclusions by the court; judgment on partial findings
  • Rule 55 – Default; default judgment
  • Rule 56 – Summary judgment
  • Rule 59 – New trial; altering or amending a judgment
  • Rule 60 – Relief from a judgment or order
  • Rule 65 – Injunctions and restraining orders

FRAP

  • Rule 4 – Appeal as of right