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How to Dismiss a Case You Filed

Court How-Tos (Civil Procedure)

What to do when you don't want to continue with your case.

This article explains how to dismiss a lawsuit you filed with a court.

Can I dismiss my case?

You may dismiss a case you filed at any time before you have introduced all your evidence, or take a non-suit by filing a Notice of Nonsuit with the court. 

How do I dismiss my case?

In Texas civil cases, one way a case gets dismissed is with something called a "nonsuit." A nonsuit occurs when the plaintiff or petitioner files a notice with the court and other parties to the lawsuit that they no longer wish to pursue the case. 

Will dismissing my case end the entire lawsuit?

It depends. If the other party filed a claim against you in the same case (a counterpetition, counterclaim, or if for example, asked the court for sanctions, attorney’s fees or other costs) your Notice of Nonsuit will not dismiss the other party’s claims and end the entire case. 

How do I dismiss the entire case if there is a counterpetition/counterclaim?

You may still file a notice to dismiss your claims even if the other parties filed a claim against you. To dismiss the case in its entirety all parties must agree. 

Do I have to file a different document?

Yes. If all parties agree to dismiss the case, you should file an Agreed Motion to Dismiss Without Prejudice instead of a Notice of Nonsuit. 

If I voluntarily dismiss my case, will I get the filing fee back?

No. If you dismiss or nonsuit your case, you will not get the filing fee back. 

If I voluntarily dismiss my family law case, can I file it again at a later time?

It depends. Usually, you will be able to file your lawsuit at a later time if your case is dismissed without prejudice. 

If I voluntarily dismiss my civil case, can I file it again at a later time?

It depends. Legal deadlines, such as statute of limitations, and other laws may stop you from filing your lawsuit again—even if your case is dismissed “without prejudice.” If you have questions, talk with a lawyer before dismissing your case. 

What does “without prejudice” mean?

If your case is dismissed “without prejudice,” you can file it again (as long as there are no legal deadlines or other laws that stop you). 

What does “with prejudice” mean?

If your case is dismissed “with prejudice,” you cannot file it again. 

If I want to refile my case do I have to pay again?

Yes. If you refile a case, you will have to pay court fees again. 

Are there other ways a case can be dismissed?

Yes. There are other ways that a case can be dismissed in specific situations. For example, the Court can dismiss a case for "want of prosecution." Learn more at How to Retain or Reinstate a Case Dismissed by the Court. Texas Rules of Civil Procedure 91a offers a way to ask the court to dismiss a frivolous lawsuit. Also, defendants who are being sued for exercising their First Amendment rights can file anti-SLAPP motions to dismiss

Related Guides

  • I want to dismiss (nonsuit) a case I filed.

    Court How-Tos (Civil Procedure)

    Here are tools for dismissing a case: a concept called "taking a nonsuit" in Texas.
  • Related Articles

    Related Forms

  • Dismiss your case (Nonsuit) - Guided Form

    PR-Non1-408 - Guided

    Guided version. Use to withdraw a lawsuit you filed. "Without Prejudice" means you may be able to refile lawsuit later.
  • Notice of Nonsuit without Prejudice

    PR-Non1-408

    Use to withdraw a lawsuit you filed. "Without Prejudice" means you may be able to refile lawsuit later.
  • Order Granting Nonsuit without Prejudice

    PR-Non1-200

    Submit this form with Motion for Nonsuit. If the judge agrees with your motion, the judge will sign the form.
  • Agreed Motion to Dismiss without Prejudice

    PR-Dis1-104

    Use to withdraw a lawsuit. Both parties sign. "Without Prejudice" means you may be able to refile lawsuit later.
  • Agreed Order Dismissing Case without Prejudice

    PR-Dis1-200

    Submit this form with Agreed Motion for Nonsuit. If the judge agrees with your motion, the judge will sign the form.