To dismiss with prejudice in a civil case means the judge ends the lawsuit and the party bringing the lawsuit lost and may not re-plead the lawsuit.   The plaintiff cannot (unless he successfully appeals) file a lawsuit based on the same facts again.

A judge will decide whether or not to dismiss a case  after the defending  party files a motion to dismiss.  In the motion, the moving party will explain why he believes the Court should reject the claims against him.  If the judge grants the motion, he must also decide whether to dismiss the case with prejudice – – meaning the case is over – – or dismiss without prejudice, meaning the plaintiff will get another chance.

An Entire Lawsuit or a Claim Can Be Dismissed with Prejudice

Sometimes a judge will dismiss one claim with prejudice but not the whole case.  For example, let’s say a plaintiff sues a defendant for negligence and breach of contract.  If the judge decides the negligence claim is meritless, she could dismiss that portion of the lawsuit with prejudice.  The plaintiff’s lawsuit based on breach of contract will continue.

Distinguishing Between Dismissal with and without Prejudice

If a lawsuit or a claim is dismissed without prejudice, the party asserting the lawsuit or claim can re-plead, meaning he may try again, this time correcting whatever deficiencies existed in the original lawsuit or claim.

the United States, judges will often give plaintiffs more than one chance before dismissing a case with prejudice.  For example, let’s say a plaintiff alleges fraud against a defendant in federal court and the judge decides that there is not enough detail in the Complaint as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9. The judge will typically dismiss the case without prejudice, meaning that the plaintiff will be allowed to re-plead and include those allegations that the judge believes was missing in the original complaint.



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