Decision on the Merits Law and Legal Definition

Decision on the merits is a decision based on evidence rather than on technical or procedural grounds. It is an ultimate decision rendered by a court in an action that concludes the status of legal rights contested in a controversy. This decision also precludes a later lawsuit on the same cause of action by the parties to the original lawsuit. A decision on the merits is made by the application of substantive law to the essential facts of the case.