Last month, I wrote about an anti-SLAPP motion filed by a Charlottesville, Virginia newspaper. The plaintiff’s opposition was due last week.
Instead, on June 6, he voluntarily dismissed his complaint and, the next day, the Court acted on the notice and closed the case.
This is not the first time this has happened in this case. As noted here, after this same plaintiff initially filed the Complaint in Virginia state court in September 2012, he then voluntarily dismissed it the next day.
This dismissal, however, likely means the end of the lawsuit. Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(B), a notice of dismissal is “without prejudice” (meaning that the suit can be refiled again). The same rule provides, however that, “if the plaintiff previously dismissed any federal- or state-court action based on or including the same claim, a notice of dismissal operates as an adjudication on the merits.”
Interestingly, this is the second plaintiff who voluntarily dismissed a defamation lawsuit when faced with an anti-SLAPP motion. In September 2011, Dan Snyder dismissed his suit after the City Paper filed an anti-SLAPP motion.