Forum Non Conveniens Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Forum Non Conveniens, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Forum Non Conveniens?
(n) Doctrine of ‘Forum Non Convenience’ establish the right of a person to request a change of court of trial when it results in undue hardship to him. The Latin word ‘for-uhm nahn cahn-vee-nee-ehns’ means ‘an inconvenient forum’
History and Meaning of Forum Non Conveniens
Forum Non Conveniens is a legal doctrine that allows a court to decline jurisdiction over a case which should be heard in another forum that is more convenient for the parties involved. The doctrine originated in England and was later adopted in the United States during the 20th century. This doctrine allows a court to dismiss a lawsuit if it feels that trying the case in the forum chosen by the plaintiff would result in undue hardship to the defendant or prejudice.
The doctrine is typically applied in cases where the majority of the evidence, witnesses, and events in question occurred in another jurisdiction. The purpose of the doctrine is to avoid having the parties involved in the case travel, possibly at great expense, to a jurisdiction where they have no connections. Instead, the case can be heard in the jurisdiction that is most convenient to all parties involved, including witnesses, evidence, and lawyers.
Examples of Forum Non Conveniens
A plaintiff files a lawsuit in a federal court in California, but most of the events and witnesses in the case occurred in Texas. The defendant requests that the case be dismissed based on forum non conveniens, arguing that it would be more convenient for the case to be heard in a Texas state court.
A lawsuit is filed in a New York state court, but the majority of the events in question occurred in Europe, and the majority of the witnesses are located there. The defendant argues that the case should be dismissed based on forum non conveniens, and that it would be more reasonable for the case to be heard in a court in Europe.
A plaintiff files a lawsuit in a small county in the state of Michigan, but the defendant lives in California and all the evidence and witnesses are based there. The defendant argues that the case should be dismissed based on forum non conveniens, as it would be too difficult for them to appear in the Michigan court given their location.
Legal Terms Similar to Forum Non Conveniens
- Res Judicata: This legal term refers to the principle that a matter cannot be legally reconsidered once a final judgment has been issued on the matter.
- Lis Pendens: This refers to the principle that once one court has taken up jurisdiction over a case, all other cases regarding the same matter must wait until the first case is resolved.
- Ad Litem: This refers to a legal term that is commonly used to indicate that someone has been appointed to act as a legal representative for someone else who is unable to do so themselves.