Forum non conveniens

Definition of Forum non conveniens

Term refers to discretionary power of court to decline jurisdiction when convenience of parties and ends of justice would be better served if action were brought and tried in another forum. Johnson v. Spider Staging Corp., 87 Wash.2d 577, 555 P.2d 997, 999, 1000. See 28 U.S.C.A. § 1404.

The rule is an equitable one embracing the discretionary power of a court to decline to exercise jurisdiction which it has over a transitory cause of action when it believes that the action may be more appropriately and justly tried elsewhere. Leet v. Union Pac. R. Co., 25 Cal.2d 605, 155 P.2d 42, 44. The doctrine presupposes at least two forums in which the defendant is amenable to process and furnishes criteria for choice between such forums. Wilson v. Seas Shipping Co., D.C.Pa., 78 F.Supp. 464, 465. In determining whether doctrine should be applied, court should consider relative ease of access to sources of proof, availability of compulsory process for attendance of unwilling witnesses, cost of obtaining attendance of willing witnesses, possibility of view of premises, and all other practical problems that make trial easy, expeditious and inexpensive. Di Leila v. Lehigh Val. R. Co., D.C.N.Y., 7 F.R.D. 192, 193. See also Change of venue; Forum conveniens.

That's the definition of Forum non conveniens in Black's Law Dictionary 6th Edition. Courtesy of

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