In order to keep the Courts from becoming even more clogged up with cases, the Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure allows for the joinder of claims, governed under Rule 18. The most important part is that a party can assert as many claims, counterclaims, cross-claims or third-party claims that they have against an opposing party. The reason for this is that the court wants to have a judicial economy. This means that the court wants to try to minimize the number of cases that are going through the judicial system. If a party has a claim against another party in one suit, the court wants to try to fit as many of their other claims against one another into the same case as possible so that they do not have to have other cases on these issues going through the judicial system at the same time. Another justification for this rule is that it allows two parties to “clear the air” between them in the quickest and efficient means possible. This helps increase social harmony and stability by preventing citizens from taking the law into their own hands to settle disputes. If the courts required that each claim be its own case, it could easily be years and years before all of the claims between two parties are resolved. This could lead to frustration and disillusionment with the system.
Idaho Civil Rule 18 also allows for a party to join two claims even if one of them is contingent on the other. However, the rule clearly states that the court can only grant relief in accordance with the parties’ substantive rights. In addition, the court can find judgment for an underlying claim before the overlying claim under this rule as well.
Idaho Civil Rule 18: Joinder of Claims
(a) In general. A party asserting a claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim may join, as independent or alternative claims, as many claims as it has against an opposing party.
(b) Joinder of contingent claims. A party may join two claims even though one of them is contingent on the disposition of the other; but the court may grant relief only in accordance with the parties’ relative substantive rights. In particular, a plaintiff may state a claim for money and a claim to set aside a conveyance that is fraudulent as to that plaintiff, without first obtaining a judgment for the money.
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