Chapman v. St. Louis City Court 22nd Circuit Juvenile Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER...IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion to Dismiss Without Prejudice (ECF No. 25 ) is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall pay Defendant's previously-incurred costs if Plaintiff refiles this action. IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that Plaintiffs Request for Stay on Deadline to File Opposition Brief (ECF No. 27 ) is DENIED as moot. (Terminate Case). Signed by District Judge Ronnie L. White on 9/5/2017. (NEB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
ST. LOUIS CITY COURT 22N CIRCUIT
Case No. 4: 16CV787 RL W
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
On August 11 , 2017, Plaintiff filed his Motion to Dismiss Without Prejudice (ECF No. 25).
Plaintiff seeks to dismiss his case without prejudice because he "can no longer afford the expense
of the lawsuit and at this time is currently still employed." In response, Defendant filed a
Memorandum in Opposition to Voluntary Dismissal (ECF No. 26). Defendant notes that the
parties engaged in Court-ordered mediation on May 15, 2017 and that Defendant filed its Motion
for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 20) on July 28, 2017. Defendant argues that Plaintiff has not
provided an explanation for "his last minute motion to dismiss after summary judgment has been
filed. " (ECF No. 26, ~7) .
"Motions to dismiss without prejudice are addressed to the sound discretion of the district
courts." Kern v. TXO Prod. Corp. , 738 F.2d 968, 970 (8th Cir. 1984). But "the discretion vested
in the court is a judicial and not an arbitrary one .... " International Shoe Co. v. Cool, 154 F.2d 778,
780 (8th Cir.) cert. denied, 329 U.S. 726, 67 S.Ct. 76, 91 L.Ed. 678 (1946). "To consider whether
a motion to dismiss is improper, the district court must address the plaintiffs purported reason for
the voluntary motion to dismiss. " Blaes v. Johnson & Johnson , 858 F.3d 508, 514 (8th Cir. 2017)
(citing Donner v. Alcoa, Inc. , 709 F.3d 694, 697 (8th Cir. 2013)).
Contrary to Defendant's claim, the Court holds that Plaintiff provided a reasonable basis
for requesting voluntary dismissal of his action without prejudice.
Plaintiff indicated that he
lacks resources to continue litigating this case and he prefers to focus on preserving his current
employment. The Court holds that these are justifiable reasons for filing a motion to dismiss at
this stage of the litigation. Clearly, Plaintiff is facing the expenditure of significant funds to
respond to Defendant' s Motion to Dismiss. The Court finds that Plaintiff has made a rational and
prudent decision to dismiss his action rather than incurring more financial burden, particularly
when he must consider this litigation's effect on his current employment. Therefore, the Court
grants Plaintiffs Motion to Dismiss without prejudice.
However, the Court recognizes that Defendant would be prejudiced if Plaintiff refiled his
litigation, particularly after Defendant expended time and resources to file its Motion for Summary
"[P]ayment to the defendant of the expenses and a reasonable attorney fee may
properly be a condition for dismissal without prejudice under Rule 41(a)." Kern v. TXO Prod.
Corp. , 73 8 F .2d 968, 972 (8th Cir. 1984 ); Blaes v. Johnson & Johnson, 85 8 F .3d 508, 516 (8th Cir.
2017). "The time and effort invested by the parties, and the stage to which the case had
progressed" are the most important factors to consider when the court decides whether to grant a
dismissal with conditions. Id. Therefore, the Court orders that, if Plaintiff refiles this action, then
he must pay Defendant's costs previously incurred. See Belle-Midwest, Inc. v. Missouri Prop. &
Cas. Ins. Guarantee Ass'n, 56 F.3d 977, 979 (8th Cir. 1995) (citing Kern, 738 F.2d at 972 ("In fact,
this Court has held that under certain circumstances, it is an abuse of discretion for a district court
not to condition a voluntary dismissal upon plaintiffs payment of costs and attorney's fees if the
case is refiled.").
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion to Dismiss Without Prejudice (ECF
No. 25) is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall pay Defendant's previously-incurred
costs if Plaintiff refiles this action.
IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that Plaintiffs Request for Stay on Deadline to File
Opposition Brief (ECF No. 27) is DENIED as moot.
Dated this 5th day of September, 2017.
RONNIE L. WHITE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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