I recently had occasion to speak with a lawyer in the Office of Legal Council of the IRS (whom I will call L) about a US Tax Court case. The IRS had accepted a revised return ans so there was no further dispute. The government lawyer told me that the plaintiff (petitioner) could not dismiss the case, nor could the plaintif request the court to do so. Any request for dismissal, he said, had to be initiated by the defendant (the IRS), responded to (accepted or objected to) by the plaintiff, and accepted or rejected by the Tax Court judge. (When the plaintiff agrees with the dismissal, he said, court acceptance is normally automatic.)
L said this specifically about a tax court case initiated by the petition of a taxpayer, but strongly implied this was the rule for all civil cases, that the plaintiff may not initiate a request or dismissal of the case.
Thhs seemed very odd to me, because I was under the impression that either party could move for dismissal in a civil case. Indeed there is a Q&A thread on this site about how a plaintiff asks for such a dismissal under Maryland law, or I thought so, but I cannot find it just now. So:
Is it correct that only the defendant may request a dismissal of a case in the US Tax Court?
Is it correct that only the defendant may request a dismissal of a case in other US federal courts, and particularly in general Federal courts (that is, in District or Circuit courts)?
Is it correct that only the defendant may request a dismissal of a case in US state courts? If the rule varies by state, what is the majority rule?
If there is such a rule in any of these jurisdiction, is there a known or official or commonly accepted reason or justification for this rule? If so, what is the reason or justification?