TEAGUE et al v. UPSON COUNTY GEORGIA et al
ORDER GRANTING 30 Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiffs' action is DISMISSED without prejudice. Ordered by US DISTRICT JUDGE MARC THOMAS TREADWELL on 8/11/2017. (tlh)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
WENDELL TEAGUE, et al.,
UPSON COUNTY, GEORGIA, et al.,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:16-CV-400 (MTT)
The Plaintiffs have moved to voluntarily dismiss their case without prejudice
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(2). Doc. 30 at 1. The Defendants
contend that they do not oppose dismissal but instead “are requesting that this Court
condition the dismissal on Plaintiffs’ payment of fees and expenses incurred in
connection with the expensive expert witness discovery in this matter.” Doc. 31 at 2-3.
The Defendants argue that they “have suffered significant financial harm arising out of
the timing of Plaintiffs’ request for voluntary dismissal” in the form of hiring “multiple
medical experts,” spending “significant time preparing for and attending” depositions,
and “actively engag[ing] in drafting their Rule 26 disclosures.” Id. at 7.
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(2), a district court may dismiss an
action at the plaintiff’s request by court order “on terms that the court considers proper.”
The Court has “broad discretion in determining whether to allow a voluntary dismissal
under Rule 41(a)(2).” Potenberg v. Boston Sci. Corp., 252 F.3d 1253, 1255 (11th Cir.
2001) (citation omitted). The Eleventh Circuit has also held that “in most cases a
dismissal should be granted unless the defendant will suffer clear legal prejudice, other
than the mere prospect of a subsequent lawsuit, as a result.” McCants v. Ford Motor
Co., 781 F.2d 855, 856-57 (11th Cir. 1986) (citations omitted) (emphasis in original).
Applying the “broad equitable discretion under Rule 41(a)(2) to weigh the
relevant equities and do justice between the parties in each case,” the Court finds that
the Defendants will not suffer clear legal prejudice as a result of dismissal without
prejudice. Cf. Stephens v. Ga. Dep’t Transp., 134 F.App’x 320, 323 (11th Cir. 2005)
(finding that a district court had not abused its discretion by denying a plaintiff’s motion
for voluntary dismissal when the defendant had a pending motion for summary
judgment, rendering dismissal legally prejudicial). Accordingly, the Plaintiffs’ motion to
voluntarily dismiss without prejudice (Doc. 30) is GRANTED without condition or
predication. The Plaintiffs’ action is DISMISSED without prejudice.
SO ORDERED, this 11th day of August, 2017.
S/ Marc T. Treadwell
MARC T. TREADWELL, JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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