Can a plaintiff withdraw a lawsuit in Japan?

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Litigation can be a time consuming process.  Sometimes, during the course of a lawsuit, the situation may change and the plaintiff may have reason to withdraw the lawsuit.  This may be because the parties may have reached an agreement out of court or maybe the plaintiff no longer wants to invest time or money in continuing the litigation.  In circumstances such as these, the plaintiff is entitled to withdraw the litigation at any time before the judgment becomes final. 

The plaintiff does not need to give a reason for withdrawing a lawsuit and as soon as the suit is withdrawn, the civil litigation is officially ended.  In many cases the plaintiff will still retain the right to litigate over the same matter in the future.

However, if the defendant has counterclaimed against the plaintiff the plaintiff will be unable to withdraw the suit without the defendant’s consent.  This is because it would be unfair to allow the plaintiff to unilaterally end the litigation even though the defendant is claiming something from the plaintiff, be it money, property or some other asset.

If you have questions about litigation in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.