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Multiplicity of Actions

MULTIPLICITY OF ACTIONS

Several unnecessary attempts to litigate the same claim or issue.

The law strongly disfavors multiplicity of actions because of the public policy to promote judicial efficiency and to furnish speedy relief to an injured party. The rule against splitting a claim provides that if a plaintiff sets forth only certain aspects of the cause of action in a complaint, he or she will be barred from raising the remaining aspects in a subsequent suit. If the plaintiff sues upon any portion of a particular claim, all other aspects of the claim are merged in this judgment if the plaintiff wins and are barred if the plaintiff does not win. For example, a plaintiff who claims $10,000 due under a single, indivisible contract and files two separate suits, for $5,000 each, will be permitted to litigate only the first suit, since the contract claim is a single cause of action.

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