Can I be taken into small claims court again for a “dismissed” case?

In 04/10 I was the defendant in a small claims case. The judge “dismissed” case for lack of prosecution representation. Today, 09/10/10, I was served with papers to be the defendant in a small claims case with the same company, for the same amount (plus increased interest), same issue of non-payment. Issue was concerning disagreement on date of move-out from apartment. Are they able to take me back into court?

Asked on September 10, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Wyoming


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they are, because the dismissal was not based on a hearing of the matter "on the merits" of the case, but rather it was a "procedural" dismissal.  Some procedural dismissals can be "with prejudice" meaning that the Plaintiff would not be able to bring the matter again.  But that usually requires prolonged and egregious conduct on the part of the Plaintiff and a motion by the defendant to force the issue with the court.  Did the court state "with prejudice" when the case was dismissed?  Probably not if they were able to file the matter again but maybe so and then you have to raise an "affirmative defense" in your answer as to the issue.  Good luck.

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