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A broad term for any of several ways to terminate a legal action without an actual determination of the controversy on the merits.

For instance, a judgment of nonsuit may be granted against a plaintiff who either fails to pursue, or abandons, the action.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. a ruling by the judge in a lawsuit either when the plaintiff (the party who filed the suit) does not proceed to trial at the appointed time or has presented all his/her/its evidence and, in the judge's opinion, there is no evidence which could prove the plaintiff's case. A nonsuit terminates the trial at that point, and results in a dismissal of the plaintiff's case and judgment for the defendant. (See: dismissal)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


an order of a judge dismissing a suit when the plaintiff fails to show he has a good cause of action or fails to produce any evidence.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
On being notified of the non-suit, the diverse defendant then filed a removal petition 10 days after the one-year time limit had expired.
We can confirm that Michael and Simmons later filed a motion for an non-suit, which was granted in Pulaski County Chancery Court.
The prosecutor office who is running the investigation, had summoned Colonel Cicek to give testimony following the non-jurisdiction and non-suit decision of the military prosecutor's office.
The Commission's decision runs counter to the ruling by Belgium's Court of First Instance on June 30, declaring a non-suit to the benefit of the former Commissioner six of her colleagues.
Wismer, (10) another district of the Court of Appeal held that the trial court committed error by granting a non-suit to the attorney because, under the facts of the case, the burden of proof on causation should have been shifted to him.
The Santa Clara County Superior Court granted the defendants' motion for a non-suit. The plaintiff appealed.
The trial court granted the hospital a compulsory non-suit on the issue of punitive damages.
In light of his previous non-suit after months of litigation, the circuit court had discretion to dismiss his breach-of-contract actionwith prejudice.
The trial court concluded that her proposed testimony that she fell and went to a physician was insufficient to withstand the defendant's motion for a non-suit. The nurse appealed.
However, the Texas Supreme Court held that in the Utts case a plaintiff may take a significant (if not the entire) settlement amount, non-suit against the remaining defendants, and the award taken is not credited against the remaining parties.
Goodman's motion for a non-suit leaving the hospital as the sole defendant.
Either party may at any time file a motion with the court requesting a hearing to dissolve or modify this order; however, this order remains in full force and effect unless and until dissolved or modified by the court."<br />At a subsequent status hearing, the judge signed an order reflecting that "Petitioner wishes to non-suit all petitions" and "all petitions [are] dismissed." (Emphasis added).

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