What is the different between dismiss with prejudice vs dismiss without prejudice in small claim court ?
One additional consideration which is very important: a dismissal without prejudice can operate in the same fashion as a dismissal with prejudice -- i.e., it can bar any subsequent lawsuit -- if the statute of limitations has run in which to refile the same cause of action.
A lawsuit in California can either be dismissed either “with prejudice" or “without prejudice”.
When a request for dismissal with prejudice is filed, the term “with prejudice” means the plaintiff’s right of action is terminated and may not be revived. (Roybal v. University Ford (1989) 207 Cal.App.3d 1080, 1086-1087; Torrey Pines Bank v. Superior Court (1989) 216 Cal.App.3d 813, 820-821.) It determines the issues in the case and precludes the dismissing party from litigating those matters a second time.
If the case is dismissed without prejudice, so long as the same claims are not barred by the statute of limitations, the plaintiff can refile the same case again.
This is a very good question. I even believe that some lawyers don't know what it means! Dismissing without prejudice means the case can be refiled. Dismissing with prejudice means it cannot be re-filed, ever. If you are the plaintiff, obtaining a dismissal without prejudice is a good result because it means you get another bite at the apple. LAW OFFICES OF VICTORIA CLEMANS, OWNER. (310) 803-9111