The word “prejudice” has some negative connotations surrounding it. In the legal world, however, cases dismissed “with” and “without” prejudice have a completely different meaning. With and without prejudice are merely the legal terms for the various ways that civil court cases can be dismissed. A civil court case can be dismissed without receiving judgment and completing the legal process.
A plaintiff can choose whether or not they want to dismiss a case, and this voluntary dismissal can be done with or without prejudice. A judge also has the power to dismiss a case with or without prejudice. If this is a confusing concept to grasp, don’t worry. Keep on reading to learn what court cases being dismissed with or without prejudice means.
When a Court Case is Dismissed “With Prejudice”
When a plaintiff decides to voluntarily dismiss a case with no intentions of re-filing the lawsuit at a different point in time – or if they do not have the ability to do so – this would be considered a court case filed with prejudice. There are no forms of prejudice in Layman’s terms involved, racism, or anything of the sort. A lot of the time, when a judge dismisses a case with prejudice, it is due to procedural issues or an unfixable case defect.
A court case dismissed with prejudice means that it is officially closed permanently, and it is officially over. Once a court case is dismissed with prejudice, it cannot be brought back or reopened. The plaintiff does not have the power or capability to file a lawsuit in the future on the same grounds as the one that was dismissed with prejudice.
When a Court Case is Dismissed “Without Prejudice”
On the other hand, for a civil court case is dismissed without prejudice, that simply means that the plaintiff has the legal option to re-open a case if need be. If something along the line is to arise that needs the case to be reopened, it’s actually possible, which isn’t possible with a case dismissed with prejudice. When a case is dismissed without prejudice, many times it is because of a weakness in the evidence or pleadings, or it is not ready for trial.
A voluntary dismissal without prejudice is usually for the convenience sake of a prosecutor. If an attorney would prefer a different outcome to their case then what is currently at stake, it can be dismissed without prejudice and revisited at a different time in order to prevent a judge getting rid of the case.
Seeking Out the Right Professional Legal Counsel
If you are going through legal issues with a civil court case, you need to be represented by a legal team that knows exactly what you’re going through and is there to help each step of the way. The experienced civil law attorneys at The Berman Law Group are able to represent you in a case in which you may need to dismiss with or without prejudice. Call us today at (800) 883-5206 for a free consultation.