(a) Voluntary Dismissal.

(1) Mandatory. Subject to the provisions of rules 23(e) and 23.1, any action shall be dismissed by the court: (A) By stipulation. When all parties who have appeared so stipulate in writing; or (B) By plaintiff before resting. Upon motion of the plaintiff at any time before plaintiff rests at the conclusion of plaintiff's opening case.

(2) Permissive. After plaintiff rests after plaintiff's opening case, plaintiff may move for a voluntary dismissal without prejudice upon good cause shown and upon such terms and conditions as the court deems proper.

(3) Counterclaim. If a counterclaim has been pleaded by a defendant prior to the service upon the defendant of plaintiff's motion for dismissal, the action shall not be dismissed against the defendant's objection unless the counterclaim can remain pending for independent adjudication by the court.

(4) Effect. Unless otherwise stated in the order of dismissal, the dismissal is without prejudice, except that an order of dismissal operates as an adjudication upon the merits when obtained by a plaintiff who has once dismissed an action based on or including the same claim in any court of the United States or of any state.

(b) Involuntary Dismissal; Effect.

For failure of the plaintiff to prosecute or to comply with these rules or any order of the court, a defendant may move for dismissal of an action or of any claim against him or her.

(1) Want of Prosecution on Motion of Party. Any civil action shall be dismissed, without prejudice, for want of prosecution whenever the plaintiff, counterclaimant, cross claimant, or third party plaintiff neglects to note the action for trial or hearing within 1 year after any issue of law or fact has been joined, unless the failure to bring the same on for trial or hearing was caused by the party who makes the motion to dismiss. Such motion to dismiss shall come on for hearing only after 10 days' notice to the adverse party. If the case is noted for trial before the hearing on the motion, the action shall not be dismissed.

(2) Dismissal on Clerk's Motion. (A) Notice. In all civil cases in which no action of record has occurred during the previous 12 months, the clerk of the superior court shall notify the attorneys of record by mail that the court will dismiss the case for want of prosecution unless, within 30 days following the mailing of such notice, a party takes action of record or files a status report with the court indicating the reason for inactivity and projecting future activity and a case completion date. If the court does not receive such a status report, it shall, on motion of the clerk, dismiss the case without prejudice and without cost to any party. (B) Mailing notice; reinstatement. The clerk shall mail notice of impending dismissal not later than 30 days after the case becomes eligible for dismissal because of inactivity. A party who does not receive the clerk's notice shall be entitled to reinstatement of the case, without cost, upon motion brought within a reasonable time after learning of the dismissal. (C) Discovery in process. The filing of a document indicating that discovery is occurring between the parties shall constitute action of record for purposes of this rule. (D) Other grounds for dismissal and reinstatement. This rule is not a limitation upon any other power that the court may have to dismiss or reinstate any action upon motion or otherwise.

(3) Defendant's Motion After Plaintiff Rests. After the plaintiff, in an action tried by the court without a jury, has completed the presentation of the evidence, the defendant, without waiving the right to offer evidence in the event the motion is not granted, may move for a dismissal on the ground that upon the facts and the law the plaintiff has shown no right to relief. The court as trier of the facts may then determine them and render judgment against the plaintiff or may decline to render any judgment until the close of all the evidence. If the court renders judgment on the merits against the plaintiff, the court shall make findings as provided in rule 52(a). Unless the court in its order for dismissal otherwise specifies, a dismissal under this subsection and any dismissal not provided for in this rule, other than a dismissal for lack of jurisdiction, for improper venue, or for failure to join a party under rule 19, operates as an adjudication upon the merits.

(c) Dismissal of Counterclaim, Cross Claim, or Third Party Claim.

The provisions of this rule apply to the dismissal of any counterclaim, cross claim, or third party claim. A voluntary dismissal by the claimant alone pursuant to subsection (a)(1) of this rule shall be made before a responsive pleading is served or, if there is none, before the introduction of evidence at the trial or hearing.

(d) Costs of Previously Dismissed Action.

If a plaintiff who has once dismissed an action in any court commences an action based upon or including the same claim against the same defendant, the court may make such order for the payment of taxable costs of the action previously dismissed as it may deem proper and may stay the proceedings in the action until the plaintiff has complied with the order.

(e) Notice of Settlements.

If a case is settled after it has been assigned for trial, it shall be the duty of the attorneys or of any party appearing pro se to notify the court promptly of the settlement. If the settlement is made within 5 days before the trial date, the notice shall be made by telephone or in person. All notices of settlement shall be confirmed in writing to the clerk.

[Originally effective July 1, 1967; amended effective September 1, 1997; April 28, 2015.]