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The Utah Judiciary is committed to the open, fair, and efficient administration of justice under the law. Find important information on what to do about your case and where to find help on our Alerts and Information Page due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

El poder judicial de Utah está comprometido a la administración de justicia de una manera abierta, justa y eficiente bajo la ley. En nuestra página Información y alertas encontrará información importante sobre qué hacer en cuanto a su caso y dónde encontrar ayuda debido al impacto del brote de COVID-19.

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Finding Legal Help

You are not required to hire an attorney, but legal matters can be complicated. Consider talking to an attorney to go over your options. See the Finding Legal Help page for information about free and low cost ways to get legal help. 

Como encontrar ayuda legal

Usted no está obligado a contratar un abogado, pero los asuntos legales pueden ser complicados. Considere la posibilidad de hablar con un abogado para hablar de sus opciones. Para información sobre cómo obtener ayuda legal vea nuestra página Como encontrar ayuda legal.

Asking to Dismiss a Civil Case

Dismissal

If a case is dismissed it generally means the case is over.

  • A case can be dismissed voluntarily if the parties come to an agreement or the plaintiff or petitioner decides they don't want to move ahead with the case. A voluntary dismissal can occur through a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal or a Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss.
  • A case can be dismissed by the court, usually for inactivity. Sometimes a case can be dismissed by the court as a sanction (punishment) against one party.
  • A case can be dismissed at the request of a defendant or respondent if they file a motion to dismiss and the judge grants the motion.

Voluntary Dismissal by Notice or Stipulation

A plaintiff can dismiss a civil complaint, counterclaim or other claim they have filed without a court order. They can do this by filing a document called Notice of Voluntary Dismissal. This option is available if:

  • The defendant has not been served with the complaint or petition, or
  • The defendant has been served, but they have not yet filed an answer.

If the defendant has filed an answer, but the parties agree, they can both sign a Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal.

Dismissal by notice or stipulation is "without prejudice," which means it is possible for the plaintiff or counterclaimant to bring their claim again in the future by asking the court to set aside or "undo" the dismissal.

If the defendant has filed an answer and the parties do not agree to dismiss, the plaintiff would instead have to file a motion to ask the court to dismiss the case.

Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 41.

Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Case, Counterclaim, Crossclaim or Third-party Claim

The plaintiff or petitioner (or counterclaimant, crossclaimant, or third-party claimant) can ask to dismiss their own case by filing a Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Case, Counterclaim, Crossclaim or Third-party Claim. Forms are available at the bottom of this page. The process for this kind of motion follows the general motion process.

This kind of dismissal is "without prejudice," which means it is possible for the plaintiff or counterclaimant to bring their claim again in the future by asking the court to set aside or "undo" the dismissal.

Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 41.

Will the motion be decided by a judge or commissioner?

Judges may rule on all motions in all types of cases. However, in Judicial Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4, commissioners are assigned to hear most matters in divorce cases and several other types of family law cases. Motions decided by a judge and motions decided by a commissioner follow different procedures.

If you are not sure whether your case is assigned to a judge or commissioner, find out. Call the court, or look at the caption of the complaint or petition. If a commissioner's name has been listed in the caption, the motion likely will be decided by a commissioner.

Motions decided by a judge are governed by URCP 7. A judge will not rule on a motion until the time for filing an opposition to the motion has passed and a Request to Submit for Decision has been filed.

Motions decided by a commissioner are governed by URCP 101.

See the Motions web page for information about the difference in procedures and timelines depending on who is deciding the motion.

Dismissal by the court

A civil case can be dismissed by the court for a number of reasons, including:

  • lack of prosecution, meaning there has been no activity in the case for a long time, or
  • failure to serve the defendant within 120 days of filing, or
  • failure to pay the filing fee.

The court will usually send a notice to the parties telling them that it plans to dismiss the case before dismissing it. The notice may give the parties a deadline to take actions to move the case forward.

If a civil case has been dismissed for one of these reasons, a party can ask to set aside or "undo" the dismissal, and continue moving forward with the case by filing a Motion to Vacate Dismissal and Reinstate Civil Case. The Motion to Vacate Dismissal and Reinstate Civil Case web page has information about the process, and forms.

Utah Rule of Judicial Administration 4-103 and Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(1).

Motion to Dismiss the other party's case

A party can ask to dismiss a case filed by another party for a number of reasons, including:

  • Lack of jurisdiction – the court does not have the authority to hear this kind of case.
  • Insufficiency of process – there is a problem with the summons.
  • Insufficiency of service of process – there is a problem with the way the documents were served.
  • Failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted – the complaint does not give the parties enough information about the claim, what kind of relief is sought, or an idea of what kind of case it is.
  • Failure to join a party – the complaint does not name a party who is indispensable to the case.

Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b).

A party wanting to file this kind of motion can use the forms found on the Motions web page.

Forms


Information about filing documents in existing cases by email


Voluntary Dismissal

  • Notice of Voluntary Dismissal - PDF | Word
  • Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal - PDF | Word
    (used if both parties agree to the dismissal)

Forms for Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Case, Counterclaim, Crossclaim or Third-party Claim Decided by a Judge

Forms for the Moving Party
Required forms for the moving party
  • Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Case, Counterclaim, Crossclaim or Third-party Claim - PDF | Word
  • Request to Submit for Decision - PDF | Word
    (filed after all documents have been filed, or the time has passed for the other party to respond)
  • Order on Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Case, Counterclaim, Crossclaim or Third-party Claim - PDF | Word
Optional Forms for the Moving Party
  • Stipulated Motion - PDF | Word
    (if both parties agree to the motion before it is filed)
  • Statement Supporting the Motion - PDF | Word
    (if someone other than the moving party has a statement to make)
  • Reply Memorandum Supporting Motion - PDF | Word
    (if the other party has disagreed with the motion and presented a new matter in their response, and the moving party wishes to respond)
  • Notice of Hearing - PDF | Word
    (if a hearing is requested)
  • Objection to Form of Order or Judgment - PDF | Word
    (Used to object to the proposed order)
Forms for the Opposing Party
Required forms for the opposing party
  • Memorandum Opposing Motion - PDF | Word
Optional forms for the opposing party
  • Stipulation - PDF | Word
    (if the opposing party agrees to the motion after it has been filed)
  • Counter Motion - PDF | Word
    (if the opposing party has new arguments to make not presented in the moving party's motion)
  • Notice of Hearing - PDF | Word
    (if a hearing is requested)
  • Request to Submit for Decision - PDF | Word
    (if the other party has not filed this document)
  • Order on Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Case, Counterclaim, Crossclaim or Third-party Claim - PDF | Word
    (if the opposing party is directed to complete the order)
  • Objection to Form of Order or Judgment - PDF | Word
    (Used to object to the proposed order)

Forms for Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Case, Counterclaim, Crossclaim or Third-party Claim Decided by a Commissioner

Forms for the Moving Party
Required forms for the moving party
  • Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Case, Counterclaim, Crossclaim or Third-party Claim - PDF | Word
  • Notice of Hearing - PDF | Word
  • Order on Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Case, Counterclaim, Crossclaim or Third-party Claim - PDF | Word
Optional forms for the moving party
  • Affidavit with Exhibit(s) - PDF | Word
    (to be used with exhibits, if any)
  • Exhibit Summary - PDF | Word
    (to be used to describe voluminous exhibits, if any)
  • Stipulation - PDF | Word
    (if the other party agrees to the motion after it has been filed)
  • Statement Supporting the Motion - PDF | Word
    (if someone other than the moving party has a statement to make)
  • Reply Memorandum Supporting Motion - PDF | Word
    (if the other party has disagreed with the motion and the moving party wishes to respond)
  • Objection to Form of Order or Judgment - PDF | Word
    (Used to object to the proposed order)
Forms for the Opposing Party
Required forms for the opposing party
  • Memorandum Opposing Motion - PDF | Word
Optional forms for the opposing party
  • Counter Motion - PDF | Word
    (if the opposing party has new arguments to make in response to the moving party's motion)
  • Affidavit with Exhibit(s) - PDF | Word
    (to be used with exhibits, if any)
  • Exhibit Summary - PDF | Word
    (to be used to describe voluminous exhibits, if any)
  • Stipulation - PDF | Word
    (if the other party agrees to the motion after it has been filed)
  • Order on Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Case, Counterclaim, Crossclaim or Third-party Claim - PDF | Word
    (if the opposing party is directed to complete the order)
  • Objection to Form of Order or Judgment - PDF | Word
    (Used to object to the proposed order)

Related Information

The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.


Page Last Modified: 4/1/2020
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