Dismissed with Prejudice?

Asked over 6 years ago - Parsippany, NJ

I recently received a Judgement in my favor as defendant in Special Civil Court where the Judge ruled the case be "Dismissed with Prejudice".

I learned after-the-fact that if I had responded to the summons with a counter-claim (as opposed to a simple answer) I would have had the opportunity to counter-sue for damages against the Plaintiff.

Note: the Plaintiff's errors cost me almost $90,000 in lost earnings and additional fees.

At this point do I have any recourse?

I have been told that I can no longer sue for damages... since the case was "Dismissed with Prejudice"... is that true?

Others have suggested I "appeal" for an amendment to the Judge's final ruling... i.e. request that the Judge consider changing his ruling to "Dismissed without Prejudice"... will that work?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Cindy Debra Salvo

    Contributor Level 4

    1

    Lawyer agrees

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    Answered . When a case is dismissed "with prejudice," it means that it can never be brought again. Therefore, the plaintiff who sued you can never sue you again with the same claim. A dismissal "with prejudice" of plaintiff's claim should not bar your claims against the plaintiff under most circumstances. In New Jersey, however, there is something called the "entire controversy doctrine." It means that all claims having to do with the same set of facts and circumstances need to be brought at the same time - in the same litigation. Therefore, the fact that you did not bring any claims against the plaintiff during the litigation that just ended could result in your inability to bring a claim against plaintiff now. The fact that you were pro se (representing yourself) in the Special Civil Part litigation, however, could work in your favor here as the court will be more lenient than if you were represented by counsel. Therefore, the entire controversy doctrine could be waived, allowing you to bring the claim against plaintiff in a new action. Good luck!

  2. Anthony John Colleluori

    Contributor Level 15

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    1

    Answered . Not only did you win, but Plaintiff is now barred from ever raising the issue of his suit again. The case was not dismissed as to any claims you may have. Stop listening to everyone and only listen to a lawyer you HIRE. Free advice is not worth the amount you paid for it...

    Good luck

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