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"Forum Non Conveniens"

FORUM NON CONVENIENS

Lat.: an inconvenient court. Under this doctrine a court, though it has jurisdiction of a case, may decline to exercise it where there is no legitimate reason for the case to be brought there, or where presentation in that court will create a hardship on the defendants or on relevant witnesses because of the court’s distance from them. The court will not dismiss the case under the doctrine unless the plaintiff has another forum open to him. EXAMPLE: A truck lightly hits the rear end of a car, but, because of the vehicle’s construction, the car bursts into flames and the driver is seriously injured. The driver, who is from another state, wants to have the case heard in his home state. The car company asks the court to invoke the forum non conveniens doctrine and have the case transferred to the state where the accident occurred. That request is granted because the witnesses to the accident, as well as the actual scene, are both in the other state, and it would be more inconvenient to have that information brought to the driver’s home state than to have the driver go to the state where the accident occurred. Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016

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