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Can a Plaintiff file a motion to dismiss in a custody case?

Rockville, MD |

The Plaintiff is pro se. The Defendant has a fancy attorney who names every one of Plaintiff's motions "frivolous". The court even allowed a BIA to be appointed based on Defendant's false statements. There have been many motions filed on both sides with responses. The final custody merits hearing date is set. The parties have not agreed on anything yet. Can the Plaintiff file a motion to dismiss the entire case? If so, what happens with the case? Does it need to be done so many days before the date of the hearing? Does the Defendant automatically get what he wants? Are there penalties for the Plaintiff? What would the court need to dismiss the case? Does the Defendant need to agree ahead of time to get the case dismissed?
Thank you.

Attorney Answers 1

  1. Fancy attorneys are often that way. The answer to your question depends on whether you, as plaintiff, are the ONLY party who has asked for any particular affirmative relief from the court, or whether the defendant has also asked for affirmative relief (typically by filing a counter complaint of some kind). If the former, you may be able to dismiss; if the latter, you may not do so without the other party's consent. If you are able to dismiss, there may be ramifications having to do with whether the court dismisses with or without prejudice (custody and visitation are always subject to modification based on a change in circumstances or in the best interests of the children, but if you filed based on certain factual grounds, then a dismissal with prejudice could preclude you from changing custody in the future based on those factual allegations). You should consult with an attorney.

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