Misjoinder, Separate Trials
In complex, multi-claim cases, the Court may order separate trials or a misjoinder/nonjoinder.
Under Rule 66.02, a court has discretion to order separate trials of claims within one case for “convenience, to avoid prejudice or to promote judicial economy.” In re Competency of Parkus, 219 S.W.3d 250, 253 (Mo. 2007). The separate trial may be had on any “claim, cross-claim, counterclaim, or third-party claim, or of any separate issue.”
A similar, distinct concept is misjoinder and nonjoinder of parties. Under Rule 52.06, parties may be “dropped or added by the order of the court on motion of any party or of its own initiative at any stage of the action and on such terms as are just.” Further, any claim against a party may be severed and proceeded with separately.