Dismissals with Prejudice vs. Without Prejudice: What’s the Difference?

Surovell Isaacs & Levy, PLC gives an overview of the differences between dismissals with prejudice and without prejudice.

Running a business can be extremely challenging, and certain situations may arise in which you have suffered damages. Because of this, you may find yourself in court. When you have a court case that is dismissed in Virginia, your case may be dismissed either “with prejudice” or “without prejudice.” 

Determining Whether A Case is Dismissed With or Without Prejudice

Whether or not dismissal is with or without prejudice is dependent upon whether or not the case has permanently ended without a chance of coming back to court or if it has only been removed from the docket, meaning that it could be re-filed if certain conditions have been met, and would be treated as if it had never been brought in the first place. 

The decision as to how a case is dismissed relies on either a judge or the law itself. In cases where a defect in the case cannot be remedied, the law is the deciding factor. It is important to note that plaintiffs can voluntarily dismiss some or all of their claims so long as it is done in a manner that does not reach the merits of the action and does not bar the re-filing of the same claims later on. 

Dismissals Without Prejudice in VA

According to the Virginia Supreme Court, when a suit has been dismissed “without prejudice,” it means that the court is not making a decision on the merits and that instead, it remains open to being brought in another suit. Put more clearly, if a case is dismissed without prejudice, it means that the action itself is stopped but that refilling of the same is not prohibited – so long as it is done within the required period of time. Generally, if you have not already filed a “notice of dismissal” for the same case before, you have 6 months to re-file the case. 

Dismissals With Prejudice in VA

When a case is dismissed “with prejudice,” it essentially means that the action and any future refilling are both prohibited. It is a “final disposition” and the idea behind a dismissal with prejudice is that a plaintiff’s claim has been resolved adversely to the plaintiff, whether or not it is on the merits or it is barred from recovery (e.g. sovereign immunity or the statute of limitations). In such a case the plaintiff is not allowed to repetitively litigate the same case against the same defendant. 

Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC Can Help Businesses with Dismissed Cases

Since knowing exactly how to proceed upon receiving a dismissal – whether with or without prejudice – it is important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Virginia business litigation attorney. At Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC, we take your case seriously and we work to get you the justice that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, visit us online or call us at 703-651-2120 today!

Posted in: Business Law