Rule 2.504 Dismissal of Actions

(A) Voluntary Dismissal; Effect.

(1) By Plaintiff; by Stipulation. Subject to the provisions of MCR 2.420 and MCR 3.501(E), an action may be dismissed by the plaintiff without an order of the court and on the payment of costs

(a) by filing a notice of dismissal before service by the adverse party of an answer or of a motion under MCR 2.116, whichever first occurs; or

(b) by filing a stipulation of dismissal signed by all the parties.

Unless otherwise stated in the notice of dismissal or stipulation, the dismissal is without prejudice, except that a dismissal under subrule (A)(1)(a) operates as an adjudication on the merits when filed by a plaintiff who has previously dismissed an action in any court based on or including the same claim.

(2) By Order of Court. Except as provided in subrule (A)(1), an action may not be dismissed at the plaintiff's request except by order of the court on terms and conditions the court deems proper.

(a) If a defendant has pleaded a counterclaim before being served with the plaintiff's motion to dismiss, the court shall not dismiss the action over the defendant's objection unless the counterclaim can remain pending for independent adjudication by the court.

(b) Unless the order specifies otherwise, a dismissal under subrule (A)(2) is without prejudice.

(B) Involuntary Dismissal; Effect.

(1) If a party fails to comply with these rules or a court order, upon motion by an opposing party, or sua sponte, the court may enter a default against the noncomplying party or a dismissal of the noncomplying party’s action or claims.

(2) In an action, claim, or hearing tried without a jury, after the presentation of the plaintiff's evidence, the court, on its own initiative, may dismiss, or the defendant, without waiving the defendant’s right to offer evidence if the motion is not granted, may move for dismissal on the ground that on the facts and the law, the plaintiff has no right to relief. The court may then determine the facts and render judgment against the plaintiff, or may decline to render 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 MCR 2.517.

(3) Unless the court otherwise specifies in its order for dismissal, a dismissal under this subrule or a dismissal not provided for in this rule, other than a dismissal for lack of jurisdiction or for failure to join a party under MCR 2.205, operates as an adjudication on the merits.

(C) Dismissal of Counterclaim, Cross-Claim, or Third-Party Claim. This rule applies to the dismissal of a counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim. A voluntary dismissal by the claimant alone, pursuant to subrule (A)(1), must be made before service by the adverse party of a responsive pleading or a motion under MCR 2.116, or, if no pleading or motion is filed, before the introduction of evidence at the trial.

(D) Costs of Previously Dismissed Action. If a plaintiff who has once dismissed an action in any court commences an action based on or including the same claim against the same defendant, the court may order the payment of such costs of the action previously dismissed as it deems proper and may stay proceedings until the plaintiff has complied with the order.

(E) Dismissal for Failure to Serve Defendant. An action may be dismissed as to a defendant under MCR 2.102(E).