Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Non-joinder Definition:

When a person, who should have been made a party to a legal proceedings, has been forgotten or omitted.

Related Terms: Mis-joinder

A non-joinder has been judicially defined as follows:

"Where a person who ought to be made party to an action is omitted."1

In the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (Maxson v. McElhinney), Chief Justice Drew used these words:

"By definition, non-joinder is the failure to include, in addition to those named, someone else who has a vital and direct interest in the controversy and whose interest cannot in law or in good conscience be severed from the parties named in the suit. "

This is usually addressed by asking the court to amend documents and including the forgotten party to the proceedings.

It is the opposite of mis-joinder.

Non-joinders, like mis-joinders, are often dealt with by the relevant Rules of Court such as this sample from the Supreme Court (Civil) Rules of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, circa 2012, at Rule 22-5(9):

"A proceeding must not be defeated by reason of the misjoinder or nonjoinder of a party and the court may deal with the matter in controversy so far as it affects the rights and interests of the parties before it."


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