Are You a Legal Professional?

FINDLAW LEGAL DICTIONARY

The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.

Dismissal

dismissal n

1 : removal from a position or service
2 a : the termination of an action or claim usually before the presentation of evidence by the defendant

in·vol·un·tary dismissal
1 : the dismissal of an action by the court because of the plaintiff's failure to pursue his or her case
2 : the dismissal of an action by the court upon motion of the defendant after presentation of plaintiff's case made on the grounds that the plaintiff has shown no right to relief NOTE: An involuntary dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) prevents the plaintiff from bringing suit again based on the same claim.

vo·lun·tary dismissal
: the dismissal of an action by the plaintiff NOTE: Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a), a plaintiff may dismiss an action without a court order anytime before the defendant serves an answer or moves for summary judgment, or by stipulation of the parties. Otherwise, a court order is required. A court-ordered dismissal will not prevent the plaintiff from bringing the action again unless the order so states. A dismissal without a court order will not bar the plaintiff from bringing the action again unless the plaintiff has brought the same action already.
b : the cancellation of an indictment, information, complaint, or charge NOTE: Under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 48, the attorney for the government may dismiss the indictment, information, or complaint with the court's approval. The court may also dismiss it if there is unnecessary delay in the government's prosecution of the case.
c : a document setting forth the request for a dismissal [plaintiff filed a ]



Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.