How to properly dismiss a case in a settlement

Asked almost 2 years ago - San Francisco, CA

I have a civil limited case. I also had 2 small claims cases which were joined with the civil case by small claims court. Both parties in the civil case sent motions to court asking not to join small claims with the civil case. However, the civil court has not made any decision whether they accept these cases to this civil case as joined or not.
I am now talking about the settlement with the defendant for those 2 small claims cases. They want me to sign the dismissal form where they cited my civil case and then they marked other and named only themselves as the defendant and specifically wrote "not the defendant in the civil case".
Is it all right to sign this dismissal form? If not, what is the best way to dismiss these cases without hurting my civil case?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Adam Jay Jaffe


    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . Not sure I understand what is going on, but if you want to dismiss a civil case - Small Claims or otherwsie - and do not want to hurt yourself, then dismiss WITHOUT prejudice. This will allow you to refile.

    You can ALSO file a conditional notice of settlement in the Civil case.

    No matter what you decide:
    1) get the help of a lawyer. This is too serious to take chances on your own;
    2) get a settlement in writing. This is too serious to take on a "handshake" only.

    Again, hire a lawyer to help you out. You have too much at stake. I have said this numerous times before, "you do not need a dentist to pull a tooth, but it helps. The same goes with practicing law - you don't need a lawyer, but it helps."

    Many lawyers, myself included, handle simple transactions like this for a flat fee instad of billing by the hour or based on contingency. Ask around.

    -Adam Jaffe Law Office of Adam Jay Jaffe PO Box 2437 Camarillo, CA 93011-2437 (805) 504-2223 www.... more
  2. Kevin Samuel Sullivan


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . your question is hard to follow. You may wish to consult with an attorney to discuss your situation before you take any further action. Good luck.

  3. Donald A Green

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . Normally if there are
    Multiple cases based on the same set of facts and circumstances, the small claims actions would be consolidated in the civil cases. It is not discretionary to consolidate in those cases. However, I too am not clear about what's going on. If you want to dismiss, you can file a Request for Dismissal. As my colleague said, unless there is agreement otherwise, you shoul probably file without prejudice which would allow you to refile if the statute of limitations or other legal reason does not preclude you from doing so

    This answer is intended to provide general information only. It does not create an attorney client relationship... more

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