Where two brokers claim commission on the same sale to the same purchaser, and one of them sues the vendor for the commission in a court without jurisdiction to accord the right of interpleader, the vendor may bring an action of interpleader in a court having such jurisdiction as, for example, in New York where such action of interpleader may be brought in the Supreme Court.19 This applies, of course, only in those states where interpleader in broker's actions is allowed.
Even where interpleader in brokers' actions is permitted, sufficient grounds for the interpleader must, of course, be shown. Fragments of the essentials of interpleader are given in the various cases and general treatment is accorded the subject in text books and encyclopedia. The danger of a double vexation must be real, and a mere suspicion of a risk will not be sufficient to warrant interpleader.20
19 Dardonville v. Smith, 133 App. Div. 234 (N. Y. 1909).
Various authorities lay down different conditions under which the remedy may be invoked, among them being that no other adequate remedy exists; proper showing of the identity of the thing claimed; privity of estate, title or contract between the various claimants; that the person seeking the interpleader has no beneficial interest in the thing claimed; that he cannot determine without hazard to himself, to which of the defendants or claimants the thing belongs, etc. The authorities are, however, not uniform in holding that all these conditions must exist, and the authorities given in the various annotated codes and the digests should be consulted to ascertain the extent of the views of the courts of each state.21
Where a third party is interpleaded in an action at law, the action becomes one in equity. We shall not attempt to go into explanatory details showing how this is brought about. It is sufficient to refer to the matter and indicate a few authorities.22
20 Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Hamilton, 70 Atl. 677 (N. J. 1908), (citing Blair v. Porter, 13 N. J. Eq. 267; Fitch v. Brower, 42 N. J. Eq. 300; 11 Atl. 330; Atkinson v. Manks, 1 Cow. (N. Y.) 691; Crane v. McDonald, 118 N. Y. 648; 23 N. E. 991).
21 Crane v. McDonald, 118 N. Y. 648 (1889) contains a discussion of the subject.
22 Vandewater v. Mut. Reserve L. Ins. Co., 44 Misc. 316 (N. Y. 1904). See also Clark v. Mosher, 107 N. Y. 118 (1887) ; Windecker v. Mut. Life Ins. Co., 12 App. Div. 73 (N. Y. 1896). As to Interpleader proceedings In actions in the City Court of New York, making actions at law equitable actions, see Schreiber v. Dry Dock Sav. Inst., 59 Misc. 408 (N. Y. 1908).