What Does It Mean To Dismiss A Case With Prejudice?
The phrase without prejudice means that a claim, lawsuit, or proceeding has
been brought to a temporary end but that no legal rights or privileges have
been determined, waived, or lost by the result. For example, if a party brings
a lawsuit in small claims court but discovers that the claim is greater than
the amount for that court to have jurisdiction, the lawsuit can be
dismissed "without prejudice". This means that the dismissal is no bar to
bringing a new lawsuit in a court that does have jurisdiction.
By contrast with prejudice means that a party's legal rights have in fact been
determined and lost. To continue the same example, if instead the court had
jurisdiction, but the plaintiff did not appear for the trial, the court would
dismiss the case "with prejudice". That dismissal is a judgment against the
plaintiff "on the merits" of the case, and extinguishes the claim that was
being sued over. However, this does not prevent an appeal to an appellate