Understanding Court Processes

Inter Pleader Proceedings

Inter pleader Proceedings refer to a situation where two or more persons claim something for example money in dispute, which is in the hands of a third (3rd) person and he has no claim to it but is ignorant as to which of the parties is rightly entitled to it. And  as such, that person may take out inter pleader proceedings.

The law provides that where two or more persons claim the same debt, sum of money or other property movable or immovable from another person who claims no interest therein other than for searches and costs and who is ready to pay or deliver it to the rightful Defendant, such other person may institute a suit of inter pleader against all claimants.

The purpose for inter pleader proceedings, is to enable Court to ascertain who is the rightful owner of whatever subject matter is in dispute.

The Applicant while applying for inter pleader proceedings must satisfy Court (in an affidavit) that:

– He claims no interest in the subject matter

– There is no collusion/collaboration between the Applicant and any of the claimants

– That the Applicant is willing to pay the value of the subject matter in Court.

Where there is a pending suit, such suit must be dealing with the same subject matter as claimed in the interpleader application.

 The law provides for the procedure to be taken while applying for interpleader proceedings. Inter pleader proceedings may be instituted where no suit is pending by Originating Summons and where there is a suit, it may be instituted by Notice of Motion.

The Court will then make a decision as to who the rightful owner is and a decree to that effect effected.