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A codefendant is one of multiple defendants jointly sued in the same civil action or formally accused of committing the same crime. For instance, if A sues B and C, B and C are codefendants.

If a defendant sues a different plaintiff within the context of a single lawsuit by means of impleader, any impleaded party in addition to the originally impleaded party is called a third-party codefendant. For instance, if A sues B, and B sues C and D within the context of the lawsuit between A and B, B is a third-party plaintiff; C is a third-party defendant; and D is a third-party codefendant.

[Last updated in January of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]