without prejudice


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Without Prejudice

Without any loss or waiver of rights or privileges.

When a lawsuit is dismissed, the court may enter a judgment against the plaintiff with or without prejudice. When a lawsuit is dismissed without prejudice, it signifies that none of the rights or privileges of the individual involved are considered to be lost or waived. The same holds true when an admission is made or when a motion is denied without prejudice.

The inclusion of the term without prejudice in a judgment of dismissal ordinarily indicates the absence of a decision on the merits and leaves the parties free to litigate the matter in a subsequent action, as though the dismissed action had not been started. Therefore, a dismissal without prejudice makes it unnecessary for the court in which the subsequent action is brought to determine whether that action is based on the same cause as the original action, or whether the identical parties are involved in the two actions.

The purpose and effect of the words without prejudice in a judgment, order, or decree dismissing a suit are to prohibit the defendant from using the doctrine of Res Judicata in any later action by the same plaintiff on the subject matter. The doctrine of res judicata (from the Latin, "a thing decided") is based on the importance of finality in the law. If a court decides a case, the subject of that case is firmly and finally decided between the persons involved in the suit, so no new lawsuit on the same subject may be brought by the persons involved. Therefore, the words without prejudice protect the plaintiff from a defendant's res judicata defense.

A court may also enter judgment with prejudice, however. This signifies that the court has made an adjudication on the merits of the case and a final disposition, barring the plaintiff from bringing a new lawsuit based on the same subject. If a new lawsuit is brought, a defendant can properly invoke res judicata as a defense, because a court will not relitigate a matter that has been fully heard before. Often a court will enter a judgment with prejudice if the plaintiff has shown bad faith, misled the court, or persisted in filing frivolous lawsuits.

See: fairly

without prejudice

a phrase written on correspondence to indicate that the contents are not to be founded upon in a court, particularly as an admission of liability. It is given effect in both England and Scotland but subject to some subtle exceptions.
References in classic literature ?
I had no hopes to give her, nor treasures to offer her, for mine are given to Dulcinea, and the treasures of knights-errant are like those of the fairies,' illusory and deceptive; all I can give her is the place in my memory I keep for her, without prejudice, however, to that which I hold devoted to Dulcinea, whom thou art wronging by thy remissness in whipping thyself and scourging that flesh- would that I saw it eaten by wolves- which would rather keep itself for the worms than for the relief of that poor lady.
As far as it would contribute to rendering regulations for the collection of the duties more simple and efficacious, so far it must serve to answer the purposes of making the same rate of duties more productive, and of putting it into the power of the government to increase the rate without prejudice to trade.
The lady looked at him coolly, without prejudice or favour.
Most diffidently did I call this accomplishment to my aid now, and immediately David checked his forces and considered my unexpected movement without prejudice.
Lydgate's only relaxation now was to go and look at this woman, just as he might have thrown himself under the breath of the sweet south on a bank of violets for a while, without prejudice to his galvanism, to which he would presently return.
He felt that he could leave her with a quiet mind to tread the paths of distinction, and wished--but without abatement of patronage, and without prejudice to the retiring virtues of his favourite child-- that he had such another daughter.
No, he daren't," answered Mistress Mary, thinking the thing out quite without prejudice.
Manager, without prejudice to these little observations, Your Most Humble and Obedient Servant, OPERA GHOST.
Macallan, and to appeal to his honor to help us out of the difficulty without prejudice to my niece.
Well, let me tell you this, Rodion Romanovitch, I don't consider it necessary to justify myself, but kindly tell me what was there particularly criminal on my part in all this business, speaking without prejudice, with common sense?
I will undertake that if you will satisfy even me, a stranger, without prejudice, and with the habit of keeping an open mind, Dr.
The fact is, without prejudice to her genius, that she has no idea of burying herself alive.