In everyday language “prejudice” is referred to as an unfavorable opinion formed without knowing the facts and circumstance about someone or something. For instance, some people have unreasonable and hostile feelings toward others, simply because of their skin pigmentation, national origin, gender or religion.
In legal language “prejudice” has an entirely different meaning; and generally it is accompanied by prefixes of "with" or "without".
When a judge dismisses a case “without prejudice” or in Latin terms “Salvis Iuribus” it means, the parties to the legal case have the option of refiling their claims.
In other words, when the court (judge) enters a judgement without prejudice, none of the rights or privileges of the parties to the case are lost or waived. So the losing party cannot raise the legal doctrine of “Res Judicata,” which is Latin and it means “a thing decided” or a decision is final.
Res judicata is a legal principle that prevents a legal matter from re-litigation. To simplify this very complicated legal doctrine, we could say that once a cause of action has been litigated on its merits, it may be barred from retrial.
On the other hand, the court (the judge) may enter a judgment “with Prejudice;” which means the court has adjudicated the case on its merits and a final decision has been ordered. The plaintiff is not allowed to file a new lawsuit based on the same legal claims and issues.
Depending on jurisdiction, the concepts of “with prejudice” or “without prejudice” can also be used in criminal cases. For instance, if a criminal proceeding ends prematurely due to error, mistake, or misconduct, it may end as being dismissed with prejudice or without prejudice. If the case ends without prejudice, the accused in the case (the defendant) may be retried. If the case ends with prejudice, the effect on the defendant (for the purpose of punishment) is the equivalent to a finding of not guilty, which raises the limitations of double jeopardy doctrine.
Please note: The above is a simplified review of three important legal doctrines, which could have huge consequences on people involved. As your Communication Platform for Law and Justice, here at www.ChosenLawyers.com, we make our best efforts to help you understand the law and its application. However, each case is unique and requires specific legal attention. This general information is not intended to be legal advice, nor does it create attorney-cleint relationship. In order to assess your rights and duties vis-à-vis your case, you should always consult with a Competent and Credible Chosen Lawyer, who is experienced in your field of legal needs, right away.