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What Is an Interpleader?


There are instances when a person or entity may be in possession of some property or assets that 2 other persons or entities may claim as theirs. In order to resolve the issue as to whom the property should be given to, the person in possession of said property might initiate a legal proceeding that will bring both parties or entities to court to justify their claims. Such a legal procedure is referred to as an interpleader.


An interpleader is a type of legal procedure recognized by equity jurisprudence. Such a legal procedure is initiated by the plaintiff, known otherwise as the stakeholder or plaintiff-in-interpleader. The property in dispute is referred to as the res or stake. The defendants who wish to make a claim on the property in question or the res are referred to as the claimants or claimant-in-interpleader.


An interpleader is usually resorted to during insurance claims, when an insurance company is given control over the property of a deceased person and the deceased’s relatives make claims on such a property. The insurance company will file for interpleader in order to address the claims of the beneficiaries of the insurance policy of the deceased. If this type of proceeding is pursued, the insurance company must deposit the res with the court, and the court must adjudicate the claims made by the beneficiaries in order to determine who will receive the res.


An interpleader often occurs within the federal court system under Rule 22 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or under section 1335 of title 28 of the U.S.C.A.

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