Two-Dismissal Rule Law and Legal Definition

Two dismissal rule refers to a rule that a notice of voluntary dismissal operates as an adjudication on the merits when it is filed by a plaintiff who has already dismissed the same claim in another court.

This rule is codified at Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a) which provides that, “an action may be dismissed by the plaintiff without order of court (i) by filing a notice of dismissal at any time before service by the adverse party of an answer or of a motion for summary judgment, whichever first occurs, or (ii) by filing a stipulation of dismissal signed by all parties who have appeared in the action. Unless otherwise stated in the notice of dismissal or stipulation, the dismissal is without prejudice, except that a notice of dismissal operates as an adjudication upon the merits when filed by a plaintiff who has once dismissed in any court of the United States or of any state an action based on or including the same claim.”