without prejudice

Also found in: Financial, Acronyms, Idioms.

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.

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

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.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
Till such a time, the current regulations and decisions shall continue to be enforced without prejudice to the provisions of this decree".
In light of the court's disposition of the federal claims asserted in count five, the court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the plaintiff's state law claims at this time and will dismiss those claims without prejudice. However, if the plaintiff elects to file an amended complaint under 1983, he may reassert any supplemental claims under state law that he believes are supported by the factual allegations.
Accordingly, while the motion for an adverse inference instruction is denied as to ASI # 21-22, the motion for a curative sanction is denied without prejudice to being raised at trial.
In ruling in Click-to-Call's favor, the Federal Circuit said that had there been some ambiguity in the statute, it might have been required to give deference to the director's interpretation that a dismissal without prejudice resets the clock on instituting inter partes review, or IPR.
He narrates this documentary on his life, focusing on the period around the release of album Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1 in 1990.
Summary: New Delhi [India], Sep 07 (ANI): First recorded by the superstar in the late '80s, Fantasy was intended to feature on George Michael's second solo album, the multi-platinum, worldwide smash Listen Without Prejudice Vol.1.
The Appeals Chamber ordered the Trial Chamber to terminate the proceedings against Mustafa Badreddine, without prejudice to resume the proceedings should evidence that he is alive be adduced in the future.
MULTAN -- CPO Mohammad Azhar Akram Tuesday directed under training police officials to carry out duty without prejudice to come up expectations of complainants.
The statement of objects and reasons were given as where so directed by the Government, any tax payable but not paid under the Balochistan Sales Tax Ordinance 2000 may be recovered under this Act, but without prejudice to any action already taken for the recovery of the amount under the said ordinance.
Jason Echevarria, 31, of 217 Dewey St., Worcester, charged with driving with a suspended license, vehicle lights violation, driving with a suspended license (subsequent offense), and motorized scooter violation, dismissed without prejudice.
The opposing party will be forbidden from referring to the without prejudice communication in the court proceedings, except perhaps when the issue of costs is being decided.
Previous researchers postulate that motivations to respond without prejudice may be partially responsible for gender differences in attitudes (Ratcliff, Lassiter, Markman & Snyder, 2006).