This section is from the book "Popular Law Library Vol7 Equity Jurisprudence, Trusts, Equity Pleading", by Albert H. Putney. Also available from Amazon: Popular Law-Dictionary.
Bills of interpleader have been already discussed under the subject of Equity Jurisprudence.
" The essential requirements of a good bill of interpleader are: (1) that the same thing, debt, or duty is claimed by both or all of the parties against whom relief is demanded; (2) that all the adverse title or claim is dependent on or is derived from a common source; (3) that the person asking the relief does not have or claim any interest in the subject-matter; (4) that he stands perfectly indifferent between those claiming the thing, debt, or duty, being in the position merely of stakeholder. To maintain this bill, the complainant must be in possession of some specific chattel or definite sum of money to which different parties make claim. Such a bill will not lie if the complainant himself claims any interest in the property in dispute. He must stand neutral between the parties."1
In Cogswell vs. Armstrong,2 the Supreme Court of Illinois said:
"A bill of interpleader is ordinarily exhibited where two or more persons claim the same debt, or separate interest, and he, not knowing to which of the claimants he ought, of right, to render the same debt, duty or other thing, fears that he may suffer injury from their conflicting claims, and therefore prays that they may be compelled to interplead and state their several claims, so that the court may adjudge to whom the same debt, duty or other thing belongs. Story's Equity Pleading, sec. 291.
"In Haggart vs. Cutts, 1 Craig & Phillips, 204, Lord Cottenham said: The definition of 'interpleader, is not and cannot now be disputed. It is where the plaintiff says, 'I have a find in my possession, in which I claim no personal interest, and to which you, the defendants, set up conflicting claims; pay me my costs, and I will bring the fund into Court, and you shall contest it between yourselves.'
"In this case, one of the defendants did not
1 Fletcher on Equity Pleading, Sec. 773.
2 77 I11., 139, 141 contest the right to the money. The other defendants appeared and insisted upon the payment of the money to them. The complainant, however, who could only file his bill and have it determined which of the defendants claiming the fund was entitled to it, is urging that a portion of the fund should go to him. We are aware of no authority which would sanction the right of appellant to enter into the contest for a portion of the fund."