Voluntary Dismissal

Voluntary Dismissal

The term “voluntary dismissal” refers to the plaintiff’s voluntary desire to end the litigation (the party who originally filed the lawsuit). The modern descendent of the common law practice known as retraxit is a voluntary dismissal with prejudice (meaning the plaintiff is permanently prohibited from further litigating the same subject matter).

The purpose of a notice of dismissal is to help remove any doubt about the outcome of your case. If you and your attorney agree that there are no other issues with the case, then it should be dismissed.

When to use a Notice of Dismissal

You should use a notice of dismissal only if you think that you have finished all the things that need to be done in order for your case to be dismissed. If you are unsure whether or not your situation qualifies as a dismissal, then you should consult with an attorney who can help determine if this type of document will help your situation move forward smoothly and quickly.

In Federal court, voluntary dismissal is subject to Rule 41(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in the United States. The full language of Rule 41(a) is set out below. Rule 41(a) permits the dismissal of a claim by the plaintiff if the defendant has not yet submitted a response or petition for summary judgment.

If the defendant has engaged in such behaviour, dismissal is only appropriate under the following two situations:

a. each and every defendant agrees to be dismissed; or

b. The case’s presiding judge orders that the matter be dismissed.

If the matter is brought back to court after being voluntarily dismissed, the dismissal in the subsequent case will prevent the case from ever being brought back.

Timeline for granting Voluntary Dismissal

It may take from 1 or 2 days to several weeks to pass an order on voluntary dismissal based on the workload of the designated Judge.

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