Cross-Complaint

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Cross-Complaint


Quick Summary of Cross-Complaint


Sometimes called a cross-claim, legal paperwork that a defendant files to initiate her own lawsuit against the original plaintiff, a co-defendant or someone who is not yet a party to the lawsuit. A cross-complaint must concern the same events that gave rise to the original lawsuit. For example, a defendant accused of causing an injury when she failed to stop at a red light might cross-complain against the mechanic who recently repaired her car, claiming that his negligence resulted in the brakes failing and, hence, that the accident was his fault. In some states where the defendant wishes to make a legal claim against the original plaintiff and no third party is claimed to be involved, a counterclaim, not a cross-complaint, should be used.



What is the dictionary definition of Cross-Complaint?

Dictionary Definition


n. after a complaint has been filed against a defendant for damages or other orders of the court, the defendant may file a written complaint against the party suing him/her or against a third party as long as the subject matter is related to the original complaint. The defendant’s filing of a complaint is called a cross-complaint, and the defendant is then called a cross-complainant and the party he/she sues is called a cross-defendant. The defendant must still file an answer or other response to the original complaint. If the cross-complaint is against the original plaintiff (original suer) then it can be served on the plaintiff’s attorney by mail, but a third party must be served in person with the cross-complaint and a new summons issued by the clerk of the court. The cross-defendants must then file answers or other responses. These are called pleadings and must be carefully drafted (usually by an attorney) to properly state the factual as well as legal basis for the claim and contain a prayer for damages or other relief.


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Cross-Complaint. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. December 04, 2020 https://payrollheaven.com/define/cross-complaint/.
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Cross-Complaint. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. https://payrollheaven.com/define/cross-complaint/ (accessed: December 04, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Cross-Complaint. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved December 04, 2020, from PayrollHeaven.com website: https://payrollheaven.com/define/cross-complaint/

Definition Sources


Definitions for Cross-Complaint are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 27th April, 2020 | 0 Views.