This case is a fight over $17,000.00. This appeal is about civil procedure. Plaintiff filed an interpleader action to determine who was entitled to funds recovered from a tortfeasor in a personal injury case. Medical Lien Management (MLM) filed an Answer and Counterclaims. Plaintiff then amended the Complaint, which MLM Answered without reasserting its counterclaims. 1 1/2 years later, Plaintiff claimed MLM had waived or abandoned its right to assert the Counterclaims. The trial court disagreed. The court of appeals did too because: 1) there is no requirement that counterclaims be repleaded in response to an amended complaint; 2) MLM prosecuted its claims, which did not prejudice Plaintiff; 3) technical defects must be disregarded if they do not affect the rights of the parties; and 4) a claim not pleaded but still tried can be decided. Evidentiary rulings were also upheld.
Tag Archives: CRCP 15
“Ooops, I sued the wrong person. My bad.” In this Rule 21 original proceeding, plaintiff, the estate of a worker killed on defendant’s property, sued defendant just within the 2 year statute of limitations period. After it passed, it turned out that another party was the proper defendant. Plaintiff moved to amend to include the correct defendant under CRCP 15(c), claiming the amended complaint related back to the timely-filed original complaint. The trial court dismissed because the new defendant was added 116 days after the filing of the original complaint and after the statute of limitations period had run. The Court reversed and held that amending a complaint and serving a new defendant within the time for regular service under CRCP 4(m), 120 days, was a reasonable amount of time. On remand, the trial court must determine if the delay in notice was otherwise unreasonable.
Aaa, adverse possession: open, notorious, hostile, exclusive, and continuous. Almost describes politics. But in this case, a coal company sought access to its own land, blocked by land adversely possessed, and claimed an implied easement of necessity, or alternatively, access over a road that was once public. The court of appeals held that a parcel of land for which there was a claim of adverse possession could be bounded by a natural feature and not just a fence. And, because the company’s need for access was in the future, and it could just build itself a bridge, it did not have an easement. Also, the failure to join the county as an indispensable party to decide if the road was abandoned or public was fatal to that claim. Last, the court held that a post-trial amendment of the pleadings should have been allowed because an excluded claim was actually tried.