Dismissal Without Prejudice: Voluntary And Involuntary
Published January 27, 2023
Suppose the court issued an order following a “notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice.” In that case, it indicates that a case has been dismissed for the time being, but the prosecutor or petitioner may refile it later. In contrast, a case that has been dismissed “with prejudice” cannot be reopened or refiled.
When a civil case is dismissed without prejudice, the plaintiff has the chance to correct any errors and refile the action. Likewise, the prosecutor can refile the charges if a criminal case is dismissed without prejudice.
A lawsuit can be dismissed without prejudice:
- Voluntarily, if done by the plaintiff, or
- Involuntarily, if done by the judge.
Notice of Voluntary Dismissal Without Prejudice: Overview
A Judge can issue a “notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice” followed by an “order for dismissal without prejudice,” if so, this means the judge threw out the lawsuit without damaging the prosecutor’s or plaintiff’s right to hear their case at a later point.
A prosecutor may request the dismissal of a case in order to get more time to build the case, find additional evidence, or interview more witnesses. Similarly, a prosecutor may choose to charge a defendant differently (with more severe or less serious accusations) if circumstances change.
The party who brought the lawsuit can voluntarily dismiss the case. It is possible that the prosecutor or plaintiff will determine that continuing the case in court is not in their best favor. In this instance, the judge has the authority to dismiss the case, either “with prejudice” or “without prejudice,” regardless of whether the prosecutor or plaintiff voluntarily requests dismissal.
A dismissal without prejudice has no effect on other governing factors, such as the statute of limitations. Thus, if the prosecutor or plaintiff decides to refile a case, it means that the original statute of limitations still applies.
Additionally, a voluntary dismissal occurs when the plaintiff:
- Chooses to file their case in another state,
- Wants to take their case from state court to federal court, or vice versa, or
- Wants to transfer a case from or to small claims court
Involuntary Dismissal Without Prejudice: Overview
A judge can dismiss a case against the prosecutor’s or the plaintiff’s objections if there is a compelling reason to do so. As with voluntary dismissals, a judge has the power to issue an involuntary dismissal “with prejudice” or “without prejudice.”
If a judge discovers problems in a prosecutor’s filing, he or she can dismiss the case “without prejudice.” Similarly, if the prosecution is unprepared for trial on the specified date, a judge can “involuntarily dismiss” the charges. Typically, judges grant “without prejudice” dismissals to suit the prosecutor’s or plaintiff’s needs.
A judge may award an “involuntary dismissal with prejudice” if they consider the prosecutor’s case severely flawed. Similarly, if the prosecutor has frequently requested delays and “dismissals without prejudice” but failed to resolve the case’s problems, the judge may permanently dismiss the case.
Additionally, an involuntary dismissal occurs when:
- The defendant does not receive the lawsuit,
- The court lacks the authority to hear the sort of case in question,
- A different court should hear the matter, or
- The court has no jurisdiction over the defendant.
Takeaway on Dismissals
Criminal charges can be dismissed with or without prejudice by a judge. The type of dismissal is crucial to both the defendant and the prosecution.
Cases can be dismissed before, during, or after a court trial. It may be the outcome of a prosecution or defendant’s motion to dismiss or a court’s ruling.
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About The Author
Krizzia Paolyn is an SEO Specialist with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. It has always been her passion to share her voice, and at the same time, to encourage other people to speak up.