Posted by John Merchant on July 01, 2003 at 10:13:00:
When a lawsuit is dismissed WITH prejudice, it cannot later be re-filed, so it’s a dead duck.This is what’s termed a “ruling on the merits” and is basically the court’s order or Judgment saying the case has NO merits and the plaintiff had no right to file it in the first place.
If WITHOUT prejudice, it may legally be refiled, just as if it never been filed before.
I’ve seen a lot of lawsuits become, for lots of reasons, untenable, i.e. non-prosecutable in that court at that time, so the Plaintiff elected to non-suit in lieu of having his case dismissed by the judge or even ruled nulla bona (NG!), which might be WITH Pr., which would keep it from being refiled at a later time & place.
As a practical matter, my guess is that 90% of all cases non-suited or D.with P. are NEVER refiled and die a natural death or are barred by SOL (Stat. of Limitations). I think of all I’ve been hired to defend, where the Plaintiff, later, elected to non-suit, and to my memory, none of those was ever filed again.