dismiss with prejudice-the claimant has NO privilege to refile the case. Its done.
dismiss without prejudice--the case has been set aside, but the plaintiff MAY open another suit on the same claim (a do over).
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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.
Dismiss with Prejudice = the case can never be refiled.
Dismiss without Prejudice = the case can be brought again.
DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided for informational purposes only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice relating to your specific situation, I strongly urge you to consult with an attorney in your area. NO COMMUNICATIONS WITH ME ARE TO BE CONSTRUED AS ARISING FROM AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP AND NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP WILL BE ESTABLISHED WITH ME UNLESS I HAVE EXPRESSLY AGREED TO UNDERTAKE YOUR REPRESENTATION, WHICH INCLUDES THE EXECUTION OF A WRITTEN AGREEMENT OF RETAINER.
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.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
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