Young v. Craft et al
ORDER granting 15 Motion to Dismiss; This case is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. Signed by Honorable P. K. Holmes, III on February 28, 2017. (hnc)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
HOT SPRINGS DIVISION
JOYCE CRAFT, individually; and
MICHAEL HERNANDEZ, individually
and in his official capacity as Superintendent
of the Hot Springs School District
Before the Court is Plaintiff Myra Young’s motion (Doc. 15) to dismiss without prejudice
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(2). In support, Plaintiff states that the case has not
been submitted to a jury and there have been no motions for summary judgment. Defendants have
filed a response (Doc. 16), in which they state that they do not oppose dismissal without prejudice
but ask that the Court award attorney’s fees and costs as a condition of dismissal.
Rule 41(a)(2) allows the Court to dismiss “on terms that the court considers proper.” “The
purpose of Rule 41(a)(2) is primarily to prevent voluntary dismissals which unfairly affect the
other side.” Paulucci v. City of Duluth, 826 F.2d 780, 782 (8th Cir. 1987). Factors the Court may
consider in determining whether to permit voluntary dismissal include:
 the expenses and costs related to the lawsuit, . . .  the defendant’s effort and
the expense involved in preparing for trial,  excessive delay and lack of diligence
on the part of the plaintiff in prosecuting the action,  insufficient explanation of
the need to take a dismissal, . . .  the fact that a motion for summary judgment
has been filed by the defendant, . . .  emotional and psychological trauma
associated with the experience of defending another lawsuit, [and]  the prejudice
resulting from uncertainty over title to land . . .
Id. at 783 (citations omitted and lists renumbered). Not every factor will pertain to every case.
For example, in this case land title plays no role, and emotional and psychological trauma are likely
to be minimal or nonexistent.
Neither party has given the Court much information on the record to consider in ruling on
this motion. Plaintiff has failed to give any reason whatsoever for dismissal. Defendants’ response
does not set out the extent of any discovery conducted or time spent litigating this action. The
Court has no means to determine whether excessive delay or lack of diligence factor into the instant
motion. Likely some discovery had been conducted, as the parties previously requested and
received a discovery extension. Additionally, the motion was filed on the eve of the dispositive
motions deadline, and the Court has every reason to believe a motion for summary judgment was
forthcoming. 1 Though this may be a case where the Court would be justified in imposing fees and
costs, this is not clear from the record or the briefing.
The Court will grant the motion without imposing fees and costs. Any concern that this
might operate to the prejudice of Defendants is lessened by the fact that Rule 41(d) allows the
Court to impose costs should this case be refiled, and Arkansas Rule of Civil Procedure 41(d)
allows the state courts to do the same. Should Plaintiff refile her action, a future court can
determine whether Plaintiff should be responsible for the cost to Defendants of this action.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion to dismiss (Doc. 15) is GRANTED
and this case is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 28th day of February, 2017.
/s/P. K. Holmes, III
P.K. HOLMES, III
CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Indeed, prior to filing their response, counsel for Defendants spoke with the Court’s law
clerk and asked whether it was necessary to file a motion for summary judgment by the deadline
or whether, should Plaintiff withdraw her motion, Defendants could file a motion for summary
judgment at that time.
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