If a motion to dismiss is granted on one of several defendants how does that affect their receiving copies of discovery made on other defendant(s) and or copies of anything else filed in the lawsuit?

1 Answer 1


Once a party is dismissed from an action, the duty to serve copies of court filings on that party under FRCP 5, or the state court equivalent, terminates. FRCP 5(a) governs when service must be made on a party:

(a) Service: When Required.

(1) In General. Unless these rules provide otherwise, each of the following papers must be served on every party:

(A) an order stating that service is required;

(B) a pleading filed after the original complaint, unless the court orders otherwise under Rule 5(c) because there are numerous defendants;

(C) a discovery paper required to be served on a party, unless the court orders otherwise;

(D) a written motion, except one that may be heard ex parte; and

(E) a written notice, appearance, demand, or offer of judgment, or any similar paper.

(2) If a Party Fails to Appear. No service is required on a party who is in default for failing to appear. But a pleading that asserts a new claim for relief against such a party must be served on that party under Rule 4.

(3) Seizing Property. If an action is begun by seizing property and no person is or need be named as a defendant, any service required before the filing of an appearance, answer, or claim must be made on the person who had custody or possession of the property when it was seized.

When a party is dismissed from a case, that person ceases to be a party to the case, so service is no longer required pursuant to FRCP 5(a).

But, there may be post-dismissal action such as a motion to reconsider the dismissal, which is technically after the dismissal order but before it is a final order, which the dismissed party would still receive a copy of.

Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean that federal e-filing software will always correctly and immediately reflect this change.

  • thanks ohwilleke I do not see where Rule 5 mentions dismissed parties. Perhaps my question could be better written; What are the requirements for service of papers on dismissed parties prior to an appeal?
    – j. howdee
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 13:04
  • @j.howdee I added to my answer to clarify this point.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 13:11
  • @j.howdee Just to be clear, the way the rules are applied, dismissed parties do not receive service of papers once they are dismissed.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 16:40

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