Dismissal of the complaint as plaintiff's right


A complaint may be dismissed by the plaintiff by filing a notice of dismissal at any time before service of the answer or of a motion for summary judgment. (Rule 17, Sec. 1). The general rule is that a dismissal of the complaint under this rule is without prejudice.

However, under any of the following circumstances, a dismissal under Section 1 of Rule 17 is WITH PREJUDICE:
[1] where the notice of dismissal so provides;
[2] where the plaintiff has previously dismissed the same case in a court of competent jurisdiction; or
[3] even where the notice of dismissal does not provide that it is with prejudice but it is premised on the fact of payment by the defendant of the claims involved. For the notice of dismissal to be effective, there must be an order confirming the dismissal.

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