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2 definitions found
 for interpleader
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Interpleader \In`ter*plead"er\, n.
     1. One who interpleads.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. (Law) A proceeding devised to enable a person, of whom the
        same debt, duty, or thing is claimed adversely by two or
        more parties, to compel them to litigate the right or
        title between themselves, and thereby to relieve himself
        from the suits which they might otherwise bring against
        [1913 Webster]

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  INTERPLEADER, practice. Interpleaders may be had at law and in equity. 
       2. An interpleader at law a proceeding in the action of detinue, by 
  which the defendant states the fact that the thing sued for is in his hands, 
  and that it is claimed by a third person, and that whether such person or 
  the plaintiff is entitled to it, is unknown to the defendant, and thereupon 
  the defendant prays, that a process of garnishment may be issued to compel 
  such third person, so claiming, to become defendant in his stead. 3 Reeves, 
  Hist. of the Eng. Law, ch. 23; Mitford, Eq. Pl. by Jeremy, 141; Story, Eq. 
  Jur. Sec. 800, 801, 802. Interpleader is allowed to avoid inconvenience; for 
  two parties claiming adversely to each other, cannot be entitled to the same 
  thing. Bro. Abr. Interpleader, 4. Hence the rule which requires the 
  defendant to allege that different parties demand the same thing. Id. pl. 
       3. If two persons sue the same person in detinue for the thing, and 
  both action; are depending in the same court at the same time, the defendant 
  may plead that fact, produce the thing (e. g. a deed or charter in court, 
  and aver his readiness to deliver it to either as the court shall adjudge; 
  and thereupon pray that they may interplead. In such a case it has been 
  settled that the plaintiff whose writ bears the earliest teste has the right 
  to begin the interpleading, and the other will be compelled to answer. Bro. 
  Abr. Interpl. 2. 
       4. In equity, interpleaders are common. Vide Bill of Interpleader, and 
  8 Vin. Ab. 419; Doct. Pl. 247; 3 Bl. Com. 448; Com. Dig. Chancery, 3 T; 2 
  Story, Eq. Jur. Sec. 800. 

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