A plea that another action is pending for the same cause.
It is evident that a plaintiff cannot have two actions at the same time, for the same cause, against the same defendant; and when a second action is so commenced, and this plea is filed, the first action must be discontinued, and the costs paid, and this ought to be done before the plaintiff replies nul tiel record.
But the suit must be for the same cause, in order to take advantage of it under these circumstances, for if it be for a different cause, as, if the action be for a lien, as, a proceeding in, rem to enforce a mechanic's lien, it cannot be pleaded in abatement in an action for the labor and materials.
In general, the pending of another action must be pleaded in abatement but in a penal action, at the suit of a common informer, the priority of a former suit for the same penalty in the name of a third person, may be pleaded in bar, because the party who first sued is entitled to the penalty.
Having once arrested a defendant, the plaintiff cannot, in general, arrest him again for the same cause of action. But under special circumstance's, of which the court will judge, a defendant may be arrested a second time.