Motion to Dismiss


A motion to dismiss is a formal request for a court to dismiss a case.  


Reasons for dismissal vary. Over 97% of federal lawsuits are dismissed, most of which are due to settlements.  

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP)

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure contains the guidelines for the motion to dismiss.  

FRCP Rule 41

FRCP 41(a) allows for voluntary dismissal, which can be filed by the plaintiff with and without a court order. FRCP41(b) allows for an involuntary dismissal to be filed by the defendant.

FRCP Rule 68

FRCP 68 contains the guidelines for a settlement offer.  

FRCP Rule 12

FRCP 12 is often invoked when filing a motion to dismiss. 12(b) in particularly is frequently used. All 7 sub-sections of 12(b) may be used as grounds for a motion for dismissal. These include dismissals for:

  1. (b)(1) a lack of subject-matter jurisdiction
  2. (b)(2) a lack of personal jurisdiction
  3. (b)(3) improper venue
  4. (b)(4) insufficient process
  5. (b)(5) insufficient service of process
  6. (b)(6) failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted
  7. (b)(7) failure to join a party under Rule 19

Further Reading

For more on motions to dismiss, see this American Bar Association article, this St John's Law Review article, and this Touro Law Review article.