Does Rule 60(b) allow relief from a Rule 41 voluntary dismissal?

Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed a Texas suit under Rule 41, refiled in New York, and then voluntarily dismissed that action as well.  Because the second dismissal was with prejudice under the Federal Rules, Plaintiff sought relief under Rule 60(b) to allow reinstatement of the original case.  Yesh Music v. Lakewood Church, No. 12-20520 (August 14, 2013). Defendant argued that a voluntary dismissal is not a “final proceeding” for Rule 60 purposes.  The Fifth Circuit affirmed the grant of 60(b) relief.  The Court acknowledged Harvey Specialty & Supply, Inc. v. Anson Flowline Equipment, Inc., 434 F.3d 320 (5th Cir. 2005), which found no preclusive effect for a Rule 41 voluntary dismissal, but concluded that one was still a “final . . . proceeding” within Rule 60 because of its practical effect.  The Court noted that the weight of authority from other Circuits agreed with this conclusion.

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