Dismiss a single defendant in multi-party lawsuits

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Your guide to Dismissing a defendant in multi-Party cases

Multi-party lawsuits often involve changing circumstances that warrant dismissing a single defendant. You may reach a settlement with one defendant, or discovery may reveal a lack of evidence
to support your claims. However, dismissing a defendant in a multi-party case requires more than a voluntary dismissal by plaintiff.

To drop a party in Georgia, you must follow the rules for civil cases. These includes the rules of civil procedure as well as the statutory guidelines. Then the court determines whether dismissing a party is
appropriate.

Do Not File a Notice Of Dismissal As To One Party

Many attorneys mistakenly file a notice dismissing a party with or without prejudice from a multi-party case. They assume that it serves as a voluntarily dismissal by Plaintiff. However, The Court of Appeals of Georgia clarified in Kilgore v. Stewart that "If a plaintiff attempts to voluntarily dismiss less than all the defendants without obtaining leave of court, the dismissal is ineffective."

OCGA 9-11-21 governs the proper procedure for dropping or adding a party. This code section states that a party "may be dropped or added by order of the court on motion of any party or of its own initiative at any stage of the action and on such terms as are just."

You must file a motion to drop party defendant under 9-11-21. Attorneys often refer to this as a motion to dismiss party defendant. They also call it a motion to dismiss defendant as a party.

You must also obtain court approval to properly dismiss less than all parties. This applies whether you dismiss with prejudice or seek a voluntary dismissal without prejudice. If all parties consent, a straightforward motion to dismiss example with a proposed order usually suffices.

If any party objects to the consent dismissal motion, file the same motion. Remember, court rules dictate that you cannot simply file a notice of dismissal by plaintiff. You cannot use this method to dismiss a case against one defendant in a multi-party lawsuit. Then, wait for the other party's response and file a tailored objection.

Once the court grants the motion, the dismissal of that party serves as a final judgment.

Use Our Adjustable Template Motion to Dismiss Less Than All Parties

We've prepared a downloadable template motion to dismiss less than all parties. This serves as a basemotion to drop party defendant sample for Georgia cases. You can customize this template for your specific case to help you efficiently and effectively drop a single defendant.

Input the relevant party names, case information, and factual basis for dismissal. By doing so, you'll create a ready-to-file sample motion to dismiss Georgia specific. By doing so, you'll create a ready-to-file motion.

Save time and avoid procedural missteps when dismissing a single party defendant from your case. Use this template and follow the proper procedure under OCGA 9-11-21. You'll achieve a cleaner, more streamlined case focused on resolving claims against the proper remaining defendants.  Download our sample motion to dismiss less than all parties today and simplify your multi-party lawsuit!

Preview:

IN THE STATE COURT OF HALL COUNTY

STATE OF GEORGIA

JOHN DOE,

PLAINTIFF,

v.

ROBERT SMITH,

DEFENDANT.

CIVIL ACTION

FILE NO.:


CONSENT MOTION TO DISMISS LESS THAN ALL PARTIES

COMES NOW, Plaintiff and Defendants in the above-styled civil action and move this court for entry of an order dismissing less than all parties, with prejudice, pursuant to O.C.G.A. ยง 9-11-21 and Flemister v. Hopko, 230 Ga. App. 93, 495 S.E.2d 342 (1998), and in support shows the court as follows:

1. The essential facts of this case are not in dispute.

2. On July 13, 2022, Plaintiff filed the instant action against Defendants Robert Smith and XYZ, LLC.

3. Plaintiff has resolved their claim against Defendant XYZ, LLC.

4. Defendant XYZ, LLC should be dismissed with prejudice.

5. All remaining claims against the other parties shall continue to be pending.

6. Defendant Robert Smith will remain as the sole Defendant in the...


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