Rule 41. Dismissal of Actions

Rule 41.01. Voluntary Dismissal — Effect Thereof

(1) Subject to the provisions of Rule 23.05, Rule 23.06, or Rule 66 or any statute, and except when a motion for summary judgment made by an adverse party is pending, the plaintiff shall have the right to take a voluntary nonsuit to dismiss an action without prejudice by filing a written notice of dismissal at any time before the trial of a cause and serving a copy of the notice upon all parties, and if a party has not already been served with a summons and complaint, the plaintiff shall also serve a copy of the complaint on that party; or by an oral notice of dismissal made in open court during the trial of a cause; or in jury trials at any time before the jury retires to consider its verdict and prior to the ruling of the court sustaining a motion for a directed verdict. If a counterclaim has been pleaded by a defendant prior to the service upon the defendant of plaintiff’s motion to dismiss, the defendant may elect to proceed on such counterclaim in the capacity of a plaintiff.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding paragraph, a notice of dismissal operates as an adjudication upon the merits when filed by a plaintiff who has twice dismissed in any court an action based on or including the same claim. [As amended by order entered January 25, 1991, effective July 1, 1991, and by order adopted January 24, 1992, effective July 1, 1992; and by order filed January 31, 2002, effective July 1, 2002.]

(3) A voluntary nonsuit to dismiss an action without prejudice must be followed by an order of voluntary dismissal signed by the court and entered by the clerk. The date of entry of the order will govern the running of pertinent time periods. [Added by order filed December 10, 2003; effective July 1, 2004.]

Click here for Advisory Commission Comments to Rules 41.01-41.04.


Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure 2023-2024 Copyright © 2024 by BirdDog Law, LLC (No copyright claimed as to government works.). All Rights Reserved.