The plaintiff can choose to end the case against you at any time before they get a judgment. This is called discontinuing a case. The plaintiff can do this by filing a form called a notice of discontinuance with the court.
A notice of discontinuance is a form that should be filed by the plaintiff if they want to withdraw the case.
The plaintiff might decide to discontinue a case where:
If the plaintiff discontinues their case against you, they can still file and serve another statement of claim in the future (as long as they file it within the time limit relevant to their claim).
If you have not filed a defence or entered an appearance after being served with a statement of claim, the plaintiff can discontinue the case without your consent.
If they discontinue the case after you have filed a defence or entered an appearance, the plaintiff will need either your consent or the court's consent to file a notice of discontinuance. They have your consent if you sign it.
You should get legal advice before consenting to and signing a notice of discontinuance. You may be entitled to have some of your costs paid by the plaintiff, but you need to negotiate this with the plaintiff before you sign the notice of discontinuance.
A notice of discontinuance should include the details of any agreement with the plaintiff about the payment of legal costs and fees. For example, details could include:
When the plaintiff files the notice of discontinuance, you should ask them to provide you with a sealed (stamped) copy. If they don't, you should contact the court and check that the plaintiff has filed it.
The plaintiff or their lawyer will usually fill out the notice of discontinuance. The notice of discontinuance needs to be signed by you to show that you agree with the case ending.
Sample: Sample notice of discontinuance.