The judge issued an order dismissing my claim without prejudice. What does that mean?

The judge issued an order dismissing my claim without prejudice. What does that mean?

without prejudiceIn Florida, a legal claim may be dismissed for many reasons; however, the manner in which it is dismissed is very important. In the context of your question, Prejudice refers to a damage or detriment to your legal rights or claim. A court will rule one of two ways; either “with prejudice”, or “without prejudice.” The difference between the two is significant and it is important to understand the legal ramifications.

Where a claim is dismissed without prejudice, the court is dismissing your claim; however, you may file the claim again. A court will often dismiss a claim without prejudice if there is some procedural defect with the claim. An example of this may be where the proper affidavits are not attached to the complaint, or in a breach of contract claim, where the claimant failed to attach a copy of the contract which is at issue. Although you may not proceed with the claim as it stands, and thus the reason for the court’s dismissal of that claim, they will allow you to cure the defects and re-file so that the court may hear your claim on its merits.

Where a claim is dismissed with prejudice, the court will not allow you to file the claim again. With prejudice indicates that the court has ruled on the issue on its merits and the claim was dismissed for good reason. The dismissal is then considered the court’s Final Judgment and subsequent claims suits are barred by res judicata.