A formal statement added to a defence, claiming something in return, instead of suing the other party in a separate court action. For example, if a plaintiff sues a defendant for damage the defendant’s dog caused in his garden, the defendant might make a counterclaim that the plaintiff damaged the fence that would have kept the dog in, and the defendant had to spend money on repairs. The court can then balance the claims, defences and damage, and make an order that takes everything into account.

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