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recoupment

n. the right of a defendant in a lawsuit to demand deduction from the amount awarded to plaintiff (party bringing the suit) of a sum due the defendant from the plaintiff in the transaction which was the subject of the lawsuit. Example: Laura Landlord sues Tillie Tenant for nonpayment of rent, Tenant is entitled to deduct a deposit made at the commencement of the lease, or an amount Landlord received from re-renting the apartment before the lease expired. A recoupment is not the same as an "offset" (setoff), which can be money owed from any matter, including outside the lawsuit.


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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications