Single-Controversy Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

Single controversy doctrine is a legal principle that requires a litigant to assert in one action all claims arising from a single controversy. A litigant, who fails to do so is not entitled to affirm those claims or defenses in a later proceeding.

The following are examples of Case law discussing the doctrine:

The single controversy doctrine is available to bar a plaintiff's claims only if the federal court has the power to exercise pendent jurisdiction over those claims.[Nanavati v. Burdette Tomlin Memorial Hospital, 857 F.2d 96 (3d Cir. N.J. 1988)]

When a federal court declines to exercise jurisdiction over state claims that must be asserted under the single controversy doctrine, the doctrine will not bar reassertion of those claims in a state court action. [Halvajian v. Bank of New York, N.A., 191 B.R. 56 (D.N.J. 1995)]