Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=319401
 
 

Footnotes (144)



 


 



Deregulating Voluntary Dismissals


Michael E. Solimine


University of Cincinnati - College of Law

Amy E. Lippert


United States District Court-Cleveland Office


University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Vol. 36, p. 367, Fall 2002
U of Cincinnati Public Law Research Paper No. 08-07

Abstract:     
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a), and its state law counterparts, permit under certain circumstances a plaintiff to voluntarily dismiss her lawsuit without prejudice. Within certain windows of opportunities, plaintiffs can take this unilateral action without the permission of the defendant or of the court, and without any conditions attached. When those windows are closed, plaintiffs can still seek dismissal with the approval of the defendant or of the court. This regime is problematic: giving plaintiffs this unilateral power is an anachronism in an age of managerial judging, and can be considerably inconvenient for defendants. Likewise, the case law has developed an unwieldy set of factors to guide trial courts in attaching conditions to the plaintiff seeking dismissal of a case.

In this article, we advance several ways to rationalize voluntary dismissals. While Federal Rule 41(a), and its state law counterparts, need some refinement, we endorse its allowing a small window of opportunity at the beginning of a suit for plaintiff to dismiss without prejudice, with no conditions attached. When that window is closed, plaintiff can still obtain dismissal of her suit, either by obtaining the defendant's or the court's permission. With regard to the latter, the presumptive sole condition should be an award of reasonable attorneys' fees from plaintiff to defendant. Among the advantages of this condition is that it is much easier to administer than the current standards, fits comfortably within the language of Rule 41(a), avoids some of the pitfalls of loser pay proposals, and in part codifies the existing practice of many courts.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 61

Keywords: Civil procedure

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: July 18, 2002 ; Last revised: February 17, 2008

Suggested Citation

Solimine, Michael E. and Lippert, Amy E., Deregulating Voluntary Dismissals. University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Vol. 36, p. 367, Fall 2002; U of Cincinnati Public Law Research Paper No. 08-07. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=319401 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.319401

Contact Information

Michael E. Solimine (Contact Author)
University of Cincinnati - College of Law ( email )
P.O. Box 210040
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0040
United States
513-556-0102 (Phone)
513-556-1236 (Fax)
Amy E. Lippert
United States District Court-Cleveland Office ( email )
201 Superior Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 2,268
Downloads: 89
Download Rank: 175,961
Footnotes:  144

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 0.312 seconds