Have you heard of “dismissed without prejudice”?
Imagine a situation where someone gets into a car accident. Let us call this person Tarah. As a result, Tarah filed a lawsuit against the driver. She is claiming damages for medical expenses and car repairs. However, she soon finds out that there are some missing documents. Now, without these, it’s difficult for her to carry out the case.
Tarah’s lawyer could tell her to dismiss the lawsuit without prejudice. This would require her to withdraw her case from the court. However, there is an interesting catch. Tarah will have the option to refile it in the future. This way, she will be able to get car accident compensation.
Thus, we could think of “dismissed without any prejudice” to be a reset button. Through it Tarah has the opportunity to gather all documents necessary to carry the case out properly. If Tarah wants, she could even hire a better lawyer in the meantime. The possibility of using this time period for the better is endless! So, don’t we want to know more about “dismissed without prejudice”? Sure, we do.
In this article, we will be discussing the legal concept of “dismissed without prejudice. Additionally, we will also touch upon the following.
- Why would a case be dismissed without prejudice?
- What is the statute of limitations on a case dismissed without prejudice?
- And, finally, how long can a case be dismissed without prejudice?
What Does Dismissed Without Prejudice Mean?
“Dismissed without prejudice” is a legal term. It refers to when a legal case closes without the plaintiff losing the right to file the case again. Ideally, you cannot bring about a case through a second lawsuit if the court dismisses it.
In some cases, you may be able to file for an appeal to question the decision of the court. However, the same case was dismissed, and filed again in the same court? Not happening.
But why is that? The law usually bars a person from filing multiple lawsuits after dismissal because the court’s time is precious. Amidst the million pending cases the court cannot dismiss the same case over and over.
So, this is what makes the condition of “dismissed without prejudice kind of special. The provision allows for the dismissal of a case without preventing refiling. The plaintiff can decide to bring the same lawsuit again in the future.
In the context of U.S. law, it means that the court is dismissing the case. However, the dismissal does not bar the plaintiff from re-filing the same lawsuit.
How Does This Provision Promote Flexibility In The Legal Realm?
Dismissing a case without prejudice provides flexibility for plaintiffs. In the world of lawsuits, circumstances may change. Let’s suppose that new evidence comes to light or other developments, for that matter. Remember that all of that may strengthen the plaintiff’s chance of winning the case. Moreover, this concept has its roots in the legal principle all citizens should stand a fair chance to present their case.
How Did This Legal Concept Originate?
Dismissing a case without prejudice is certainly not a new one. It has roots in the history of laws. Moreover, it only carries out the motto of justice, equality, and fairness. This very important part of the legal system also makes room for the correction of errors. It could lead to a person making up for deficiencies without taking away a second chance at a fair system.
Therefore, the concept is not a new one. It is historical and applies to the legal system all over the world. If you want to know more about this type of dismissal, you can visit a lawyer. Be it a contract lawyer or employment law firm in your area, they can give you primary working knowledge on the matter.
What Happens On Dismissal Without Prejudice?
If we put things very simply, a case, when dismissed without prejudice, will have the chance to get a refiling. If the case is under criminal jurisdiction, a prosecutor can bring about these charges. However, in case of a civil matter, only the plaintiff can do the refiling. The best way to explain a dismissal without prejudice is that it is temporary in nature.
What Does Refiling A Case Mean?
In this context, when a person refiles a case, it means the following.
a. The person can file the case in a separate/different court,
b. Prosecutors or Plaintiffs may file the case against different parties.
c. The plaintiff must be able to amend the case to include new claims, facts. They can also use the opportunity to bring about new allegations.
However, a very important point lies that the plaintiff should refile before the applicable statute of limitations of the case is over.
Why Would A Case Be Dismissed Without Prejudice?
Commonly, we know this condition as voluntary dismissal without prejudice. Here, the plaintiff or prosecutor has the right to ask the judge for a dismissal. This dismissed without prejudice case will only go on if the judge consents to it.
- One can have numerous reasons to ask for a voluntary dismissed without prejudice.
- There are new facts that could change the direction of the lawsuit.
- There are not sufficient defendants in the case, and the plaintiff wants to add new ones.
- It is what the prosecutor wants. They might want to bring about more severe or less severe charges.
Wrapping It Up
Now that we have come to the end of this article, let us go through a few more details. In the United States, the statute of limitations on a case to refile will ideally depend on the case. Therefore, a case that has been dismissed without prejudice is left at the mercy of the prosecutor, the judge, and the facts of the case.
Also, there is no fixed time limit for how long a case can be dismissed without prejudice. It will entirely depend on the statute of limitations for that particular claim.