Note to Self: Address All Possible Grounds for Dismissal

Amy Self sued Tina King and Elizabeth Tucker for  injuries she received in a car accident purportedly caused by King.  On March 21, the trial judge sent a letter to all counsel requiring them to sign and return the enclosed scheduling order by April 8, 2011, or the court would place the matter on its dismissal docket.  Self failed to comply with this requirement and the court notified the parties of a dismissal hearing on April 21.  When Self failed to appear at this hearing, the court issued an order of dismissal.  In July 2011, Self moved to vacate the order of dismissal because, she argued, neither she nor her attorney had received notice of the scheduling order or the dismissal hearing.  The trial judge stated that, although the court lacked jurisdiction to reinstate the case, she would deny the motion to reinstate if she had jurisdiction to do so.  On appeal, the Court found that Self failed to address all possible grounds for the dismissal of the case, which was required because “[i]f a dismissal order does not state the grounds for the dismissal, a plaintiff seeking reinstatement must negate all possible grounds.”

Self v. King

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