- A legal claim initiated by the defendant against a different participant in the lawsuit
- A legal claim set forth by the defendant against someone not involved in the original lawsuit, related to the same event or transaction
- The defendant, suspecting his business partner was to blame, launched a cross-complaint in the ongoing lawsuit.
- Feeling unfairly accused, the defendant leveled a cross-complaint against the real criminal, who had not been part of the initial lawsuit.
- The defendant retaliated to the charges levied against him by filing a cross-complaint against another entity involved in the dispute.