Definition - What does Voluntary Dismissal mean?
Voluntary dismissal is the outcome of a lawsuit where the court has granted a plaintiff's request to terminate his own action. A voluntary dismissal may be specified as dismissed with prejudice or dismissed without prejudice. Where the case is dismissed without prejudice, the plaintiff reserves the right to file the lawsuit again at a later date whereas if the case is dismissed with prejudice, the plaintiff may not refile the lawsuit.
WorkplaceTesting explains Voluntary Dismissal
A Voluntary Dismissal has to be requested from the judge by the plaintiff. A plaintiff may decide to request a voluntary dismissal when he either finds himself insufficiently prepared for court proceedings or where the plaintiff and the defendant have reached a settlement. Where a partial or full settlement is reached, the plaintiff can avoid court proceedings by requesting voluntary dismissal without prejudice. This enables the plaintiff to refile the case if the defendant does not fulfill his obligations in terms of the settlement arrangement.
The plaintiff must fill out a “Request for Dismissal” form and then file it with the court in addition to having it served to the defendant. The judge then decides whether or not to grant or reject the request.