What doe the words “Settled and dismissed with prejudice” in a court ruling mean?

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What doe the words “Settled and dismissed with prejudice” in a court ruling mean?

Asked on November 27, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio

Answers:

L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question.  While court orders will usually mean something differently depending on the type of case that the order is involved, there are some terms which are common in nearly all areas of law.  First, when a case is marked “settled,” it means essentially that the case is finalized.  While there may be some outstanding paperwork to complete, it means that all parties have come to some type of agreement to no longer pursue or defend the lawsuit.  This can occur with or without a judge.  Sometimes a judge holds what is called a “settlement conference,” where the judge acts almost as a mediator to assess the value of case. The judge can explain what he/she believes is a fair and just settlement value, and the parties will negotiate a deal based on the judge’s opinion.  However, parties can talk without the judge present in an attempt to resolve the case, combined with an effort to save both sides money from further litigation costs. 

In addition, the court will dismiss or finalize a lawsuit by stating that is “with prejudice” or “without prejudice.”  When as case is mar ked “dismissed with prejudice,” it means that the action needs to be done for good.  This type of ruling means the case is finalized and that no claims arising from the same action can be brought before the court again in a lawsuit.  When a case is marked “dismissed without prejudice,” a plaintiff maintains the right to pursue the lawsuit again in the future.  In this case, the lawsuit is not closed forever, and the plaintiff has the possibility to file the lawsuit again at a more appropriate time for the plaintiff.

 


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