Germane Counterclaim: A Case Study

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Particular circumstances can deny a defendant from asserting a germane counterclaim. In Giambuttista v. Bradlees, Inc., 130 N.J. Super. 381 (Super. Ct. 1974), the court denied a defendant’s counterclaim due to it being barred by the statute of limitations and prejudicing the plaintiff’s rights since a medial investigation was involved. In that case, the plaintiff had filed assault and battery charges against defendant shopkeeper and defendant employee. Id. at 382. An attorney for the defendant employee filed a nice of a motion for permission to file a counterclaim three months after the statute of limitations expired. The court stated that the counterclaim would have been proper if it had been set forth and filed with the answer, but was not proper in that case because it was being asserted by a supplemental pleading after timely answer and subsequent running of the statute of limitations. …show more content…
at 383. In detailing the general rule, the court discussed three situations, the first being when a plaintiff initiates an action late with the hope of the statute of limitations running before the defendant can assert a claim, the defendant should be allowed to assert the claim out of the same transaction. Id. at 385. The second situation being when a defendant asserts their claim before the statute runs or the time period of the previous situation, the claim should be asserted as if the defendant had a complaint as a plaintiff and the expiration of the statute of limitations is “immaterial.” Id. at 385-86. In the third situation, the court stated no justification would be given for letting the statute of limitations lapse when an answer is filed and no notice is given to the opposing party. Furthermore, the court distinguished Atl. City Hosp. v. Finkle since it was a case for recoupment, and the case at hand dealt with whether there could be affirmative relief. Id. at

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