Sometimes there is another defendant who was also sued by the plaintiff (the person who started the law suit). If the other defendant actually owes you money in the same dispute, you can file a “cross claim”. Read the Rule: MD Rule 3-331(b)

Timing - You must file your cross claim within 10 days after the deadline to file the Notice of Intent to Defend. The Notice to Defend is due 15 days after you (a defendant) receive a copy of the Complaint.

TipI - f you choose this option, be clear and concise. Explain your story. This is not an opportunity to criticize. It is not your chance to argue the whole case. Just include the highlights.

Remember, you should prepare for the trial just as if you had filed the complaint first.
To prepare your case, use this Resource Guide to walk through the same steps that you would have taken had you filed first.

  • You cannot file for more money or other types of help (relief) than the District Court allows. If your claim is not right for District Court, your case can be transferred to Circuit Court. The maximum amount you can sue for in a small claims case is $5,000.  The maximum amount you can sue for in District Court is $30,000.
  • The original complaint and your cross-claim will both be heard during the same trial. (If there is a good reason, the court can order the trials be held at different times.)


A special project of the Eastern Shore Regional Library under a Library Services Technology Act grant from the Division of Library Development Services/MD State Department of Education (author: Ayn H. Crawley). Edits by Regina Strait, Esq.

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Is this legal advice?

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