A procedure used to decide how conflicting claims against the same person should be dealt with. It applies when there are two or more claims against the applicant (whether or not court proceedings have been issued) that conflict with each other; for example, when two or more people claim the same goods that are being held by the applicant. The court decides how the matter should be dealt with; it may, for example, direct that there should be a court action between the rival claimants.
Interpleader can be of two types. A stakeholder's interpleader arises in relation to a person liable on a debt or holding goods or money in respect of which there are rival claims. A sheriff's interpleader (in the High Court) or interpleader under execution (in the county court) arises in relation to execution of judgment by a High Court Enforcement Officer or bailiff who has to deal with rival claims in respect of goods taken under a writ or warrant of execution, when a third party (e.g. a television rental company) claims that the goods seized belong to that third party. The relevant procedural rules are to be found in Schedules 1 and 2 to the Civil Procedure Rules.