The Law Dictionary

Your Free Online Legal Dictionary • Featuring Black’s Law Dictionary, 2nd Ed.

What is INTERPLEADER

When two or more persons claim the same thing (or fund) of a third, and he, laying no claim to it himself, is ignorant which of them has a right to it, and fears he may be prejudiced by their proceeding against him to recover it, he may file a bill in equity against them, the object of which is to make them litigate their title between themselves, instead of litigating it with him, and such a bill is called a “bill of interpleader.” Brown. By the statute 1 & 2 Wm. IV. c. 58, summary proceedings at law were provided for the same purpose, in actions of assumpsit, debt, detinue, and trover. And the same remedy is known, in one form or the other, in most or all of the United States. Under the Pennsylvania practice, when goods levied upon by the sheriff are claimed by a third party, the sheriff takes a rule of interpleader on the parties, upon which, when made absolute, a feigned issue is framed, and the title to the goods is tested. The goods, pending the proceedings, remain in the custody of the defendant upon the execution of a forthcoming bond. Bou- vier.

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