JOINDER OF ACTIONS
practice. The putting two or more causes of action in the same declaration.
2. It is a general rule, that in real actions there can never be but one count. 8 Co. 86, 87; Bac. Ab. Action, C; Com. Dig. Action, G. A count in a real, and a count in a mixed action, cannot be joined in the same declaration; nor a count in a mixed action, and a count in a personal action; nor a count in a mixed action with a count in another, as ejectment and trespass.
3. In mixed actions, there may be two counts in the same declaration; for example, waste lies upon several leases, and ejectment upon several demises and ousters. 8 Co. 87 b Poph. 24; Cro. Eliz. 290; Ow. 11. Strictly, however, ejectment at common law, is a personal action, and a count in trespass for an assault and battery, may be joined with it; for both sound in trespass, and the same judgment is applicable to both.
4. In personal actions, the use of several counts in the same declaration is quite common. Sometimes they are applied to distinct causes of actions, as upon several promissory notes; but it more frequently happens that the various counts introduced, do not really relate to different claims, but are adopted merely as so many different forms of propounding the same demand. The joinder in action depends on the form of action, rather than on the subject-matter of it; in an action against a carrier, for example, if the plaintiff declare in assumpsit, he cannot join a count in trover, as he may if he declare against him in case. 1 T. R. 277 but see 2 CainesR. 216; 3 East, R. 70. The rule as to joinder is, that when the same plea may be pleaded, and the same judgment given on all the counts of the declaration, or when the counts are all of the same nature, and the same judgment is to be given upon them all, though the pleas be different, as in the case of debt upon bond and simple contract, they may be joined. 2 Saund. 117, c. When the same form of action may be adopted, th may join as many causes of action as he may choose, though he acquired the rights affected by different titles; but the rights of the plaintiffs, and the liabilities of the defendant, must be in his own character, or in his representative capacity, exclusively. A, plaintiff cannot sue, therefore, for a cause of, action in his own right, and another cause in his character as executor, and join them; nor can he sue the defendant for a debt due by himself, and another due, by him as executor.
5. In criminal case s, different offences may be joined in the same indictment, if of the same nature, but an indictment may be quashed, at the discretion of the court, when the counts are joined in such a manner as will confound the evidence. 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 253-255. In Pennsylvania, it has been decided that when a defendant was indicted at one session of the court for a conspiracy to cheat a third person, and at another session of the same court he was indicted for another conspiracy to cheat another person, the two bills might be tried by the same jury against the will of the defendant, provided he was not thereby deprived of any material right, as the right to challenge; whether he should be so tried or not seems to be a matter of discretion with the court. 5 S. & R. 59 12 S. R. 69. Vide Separate Trial. Vide, generally, 2 Saund. 117, b. to 117, c.; Com. Dig. Action, G; 2 Vin. Ab. 38; Bac. Ab. Actions in General, C; 13 John. R. 462; 10 John. R. 240; 11 John. R. 479; 1 John. R. 503; 3 Binn. 555; 1 Chit Pl. 196 to 205; Arch. Civ. Pl. 172 to 176; Steph. Pl. Index, h. t. Dane s Ab. h. t.
Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition