In a litigation, all necessary parties must be joined in the action. Failure to do so may result in dismissal. This is codified in the CPLR:
CPLR § 1001, entitled “Necessary Joinder of Parties” provides, in part:
“(a) Parties who should be joined. Persons who ought to be parties if complete relief is to be accorded between the persons who are parties to the action or who might be inequitably affected by a judgment in the action shall be made plaintiffs or defendants. When a person who should join as a plaintiff refuses to do so he may be made a defendant.”
CPLR § 1003, entitled “Nonjoinder and Misjoinder of Parties” provides:
“Nonjoinder of a party who should be joined under section 1001 is a ground for dismissal of an action without prejudice unless the court allows the action to proceed without that party under the provisions of that section . . . “
In the context of debt collection case, where a guaranty is the joint obligation of multiple parties, all be joined as defendants in suit on the contract, except those who are bankrupt or beyond the jurisdiction of the court. “[T]he rule is well settled that all the parties jointly liable on the same instrument must be joined in an action thereon.” Third Nat. Bank of St. Louis v. Graham, 174 A.D. 503 (1st Dept. 1916).
“In order to warrant dismissal for failure to join a necessary party, Defendants have to demonstrate that the [party’s] joinder was necessary to accord full relief to the parties presently joined or that the [party] would be inequitably affected by any judgment that might result in this action.” Amsellem v. Host Marriott Corp., 280 A.D.2d 357, 359 (1st Dept. 2001).
If you have any legal questions or need help with a failure to join necessary parties defense, please contact Attorney Scott Lanin at (212) 764-7250 x 201 or use the contact form in the right sidebar.