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  1. #1
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    May 2012
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    Default What Does It Mean for a Case to be Dismissed "With Prejudice"

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: VA

    It looks like we finally came to an agreement in regards to child support and his lawyer wrote everything up. The only problem I have is with the part at the end where it states that the case shall be dismissed with prejudice. When I check google this is what I find:
    A dismissal "with prejudice" essentially means that the court considered the application, the reasons presented and found that, based on the merits, the application should be dismissed. ... The litigant whose claims were dismissed is barred from attempting to revive the same issues in a future application to the court.

    Does that mean, if I where to sign this, I can not take him to court again in the future if he fails again to make payments? I am very careful with everything his lawyer writes. She tried to have me sign something stating he would pay me $4000 before the end of the year if I would forgive the remaining 4k he owes. When we went to the court date in December, coming to an agreement, he suddenly wasn't even able to pay $2000 towards the arrears.

    I just want to make sure I can take him back to court if I have to for non-payment.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: What Does It Mean "with Prejudice"

    Without reading the whole agreement, it's hard to say whether it means any arrears ever or just the specific arrears that are being litigated now. I would not sign it without having your attorney review the full document.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: What Does It Mean "with Prejudice"

    Quote Quoting free9man
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    Without reading the whole agreement, it's hard to say whether it means any arrears ever or just the specific arrears that are being litigated now. I would not sign it without having your attorney review the full document.
    I agree and I will add that I can see no reason why the case has to be dismissed at all. Normally if the parties come to an agreement the agreement is submitted to the court to become a court order. Therefore I suspect that you do not have an attorney of your own and that his attorney is trying to pull a fast one.


    I would decline to sign that dismissal but would offer to sign a stipulated court order for the judge's signature that finalizes the case without dismissing it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What Does It Mean "with Prejudice"

    Your generalities are not helpful. What is meant by the word "case" in the above statement that ''the 'case' will be dismissed with prejudice"? Certainly the father's lawyer has the good sense to know that you cannot arbitrarily release her client from the duty as to future accruing child support.

    If you are willing to accept a lesser, but lump sum payment in satisfaction of the accrued arrearages, just be certain that your current application to the court is not dismissed, or that you rights to seek satisfaction through the court in that respect are not foreclosed, short of receipt of that payment.

    Also why haven't you reported the father's failure to provide for his children to the criminal authorities? If he can dig up enough to pay a lawyer to defend a civil claim, let him hire one to defend a criminal charge; to-wit:

    https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/.../section20-61/

  5. #5
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    May 2012
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    140

    Default Re: What Does It Mean "with Prejudice"

    Quote Quoting latigo
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    Your generalities are not helpful. What is meant by the word "case" in the above statement that ''the 'case' will be dismissed with prejudice"? Certainly the father's lawyer has the good sense to know that you cannot arbitrarily release her client from the duty as to future accruing child support.

    If you are willing to accept a lesser, but lump sum payment in satisfaction of the accrued arrearages, just be certain that your current application to the court is not dismissed, or that you rights to seek satisfaction through the court in that respect are not foreclosed, short of receipt of that payment.

    Also why haven't you reported the father's failure to provide for his children to the criminal authorities? If he can dig up enough to pay a lawyer to defend a civil claim, let him hire one to defend a criminal charge; to-wit:

    https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/.../section20-61/
    I am sorry for not giving enough info. My daughters father has paid partial payment throughout the year but starting in May he has not paid anything until October when we had our first court case because I filed a rule to show cause. We were set up for trial when his lawyer requested some sort of extension so we can come to an agreement out of court. The lawyer asked me to settle for half the amount he owed and I denied. I told her that I will not accept anything less then what he currently owes.

    The court order we are currently working on is in regards to a new monthly support amount as well as arrearages.

    Right now I am just worried that with signing any paper that I am unable to take him to court again in the future.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: What Does It Mean "with Prejudice"

    Quote Quoting kathak
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    I am sorry for not giving enough info. My daughters father has paid partial payment throughout the year but starting in May he has not paid anything until October when we had our first court case because I filed a rule to show cause. We were set up for trial when his lawyer requested some sort of extension so we can come to an agreement out of court. The lawyer asked me to settle for half the amount he owed and I denied. I told her that I will not accept anything less then what he currently owes.

    The court order we are currently working on is in regards to a new monthly support amount as well as arrearages.

    Right now I am just worried that with signing any paper that I am unable to take him to court again in the future.
    In my opinion you should not sign anything that agrees to dismiss the case, let alone dismiss the case with prejudice. I also suggest that you really need an attorney of your own.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What Does It Mean "with Prejudice"

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    In my opinion you should not sign anything that agrees to dismiss the case, let alone dismiss the case with prejudice. I also suggest that you really need an attorney of your own.
    i have an attorney. But I am a little unsatisfied. She forwarded the paperwork for me to review without saying anything. If I had said everything looks okay I would have signed that!

  8. #8
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: What Does It Mean "with Prejudice"

    Quote Quoting kathak
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    i have an attorney. But I am a little unsatisfied. She forwarded the paperwork for me to review without saying anything. If I had said everything looks okay I would have signed that!
    Ok, tell your attorney that you refuse to sign anything that calls for a dismissal of the case, let alone a dismissal with prejudice and see what your attorney has to say at that point. If your attorney encourages you to sign, then I would suggest that you consult with a different attorney.

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