Rules of Civil Procedure – Comment Period Closed December 15, 2022

URCP041. Dismissal of Actions. This rule was previously published for public comment after changes to subparagraphs (a)(1)(A), (a)(1)(A)(i), and (a)(2).  The issue of dismissing an action as to a particular party was brought to the Committee.  The example posed included a multi-defendant case where a settlement agreement may have been reached as to some, but not all defendants, and the plaintiff sought to dismiss the action as to those particular defendants, but not all of the defendants.  Rule 41 currently addresses the dismissal of an “action.”  The Committee is proposing a change to subsections (a)(1)(A) and (a)(2) that would permit a plaintiff to dismiss an action, “a claim, or a party… .”  Which is a slight language change from the previous amendment for the same purpose to make the language more clear.

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2 thoughts on “Rules of Civil Procedure – Comment Period Closed December 15, 2022
  1. Dave Todd

    We are in favor of this. It would help to close out a lot of cases that get hung up often unnecessarily.

  2. Mike Stout

    The amendment is a good idea now that the ambiguity has been uncovered. I believe in practice, district courts and the parties have routinely assumed a single party could be dismissed. However, 1(A)(1) now would create more of an issue – by requiring court approval if a single answer has been filed takes away the right of the Plaintiff to dismiss a single defendant in the face of a motion to dismiss, an early settlement, or determining that they have named an improper defendant. I would suggest that section 1(A)(1) state: “a notice of dismissal before the party being dismissed serves an answer or a motion for summary judgment.” This allows the plaintiff to narrow down its claims without having to seek the approval of other defendants who are likely adversarial, especially in light of the fact they are not being dismissed as well.