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Dismissal of Suit With Prejudice But No Costs Upheld

The plaintiff asked the district court for a dismissal without costs or for more time to answer the defendants' summary judgment motion. The court gave him more time and then dismissed with prejudice before the time had expired. The plaintiff had obtained counsel, who filed a Rule 59(e) motion, which was denied.

The dismissal with prejudice was proper since the plaintiff did not specify the nature of the dismissal and the court acted within its discretion in interpreting the waiver of costs requested as a trade-off for dismissal with prejudice; usually costs are assessed on a dismissal without prejudice.

The district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the Rule 59(e) motion. Although the plaintiff said his main concern was the difficulty of proceeding without counsel, his letter concerning dismissal mentioned other factors, and the court could conclude that counsel was not the issue. See: Babcock v. McDaniel, 148 F.3d 797 (7th Cir. 1998).

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Related legal case

Babcock v. McDaniel