What is a dismissal with or without prejudice?


Attorney Tom Olsen: Let’s go now and talk to John in Volusia County. John, you’re on News Talk WDBO. Go ahead.

John: Yes, I have a question about a homeowner. How is a homeowner affected in a foreclosure case if they experienced a dismissal without prejudice or a dismissal with prejudice? What’s the outcome on that?

Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay. In civil law, when people are suing each other, companies are suing each other, a dismissal without prejudice means that the court is saying, “I’m throwing you out of court, but you have a right to fix whatever mistakes you made and re-file this case.” 

A dismissal with prejudice, the court is saying, “Hey, your case is so weak or so -- so -- so without merit that I’m dismissing it and not giving a right to re-file it.” So there’s a huge difference in the two, John, but a judge dismissing a case with prejudice would be very rare. John does that answer your question for you? 

John: It sure does. What, in the long run, if that should happen, a dismissal with prejudice, what is the homeowner up against then with regards to title, that sort of thing? Is that a problem?

Attorney Tom Olsen: I have no idea what you’re asking me, John. John, you own a home. Has a lender done a foreclosure against you?

John: Again? Yes.

Attorney Tom Olsen: And so I would not expect the judge to dismiss that lender's case with prejudice. If that's what you're hoping for, very unlikely. Not going to happen.