Holmes v Cannon

Holmes appealed the denial of his motion to dims arguing that an earlier case involving the parties and claims had been dismissed for failure to prosecute and the dismissal is presumptively with prejudice. The Court reversed. It held that under the plain language of Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b), dismissal for failure to prosecute is presumed to be with prejudice, none of the exceptions to dismissal with prejudice apply here as there was no bar to the district court’s adjudicating the prior case and the Court of Appeals’ Panos decision relied upon by Cannon was wrongly decided as it failed to give effect to the Rule 41(b) presumption which applies to all involuntary dismissals and relied instead on a rule of judicial administration and thus the Court overruled Panos. The Court applied the presumption here because, while this decision significantly alters the law on involuntary dismissals, Cannon failed to demonstrate any reliance on the Paros decision and thus his prospective only application argument failed.