If you have been involved in a lawsuit, you may have heard the terms “dismissed without prejudice” or “dismissed with prejudice.”
If a case is dismissed “without prejudice” that means that the case is being dismissed now, but that it may be refiled in the future. (note: there may still be time limits set by law that prohibit this refiling after a certain amount of time has gone by so be sure to check that for your individual type of case).
A case that is dismissed “with prejudice” will not be allowed a refiling. (note: if the problem is ongoing or returns, a new case may be able to be filed for something that happens after the date of dismissal, or a separate action that is similar to but not the same as the original one may be appropriate).
If you have a decision to make about dismissal of a case, your attorney can explain these differences to you, and how your situation will be affected now and in the future.
Although the basic meaning of these two terms sounds simple, applying them to certain situations is not simple at all, and requires a complete understanding of the facts and law relating to the case.