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Forum Non Conveniens

In the News • Aug 16, 2022
post about Forum Non Conveniens

Two recent Florida appeals court opinions provide guidance on transferring a lawsuit to another court. Maybe another state. When that other court would be more convenient. These opinions also examine the evidentiary obligation of the person making the motion. And, they consider the discretion of the court to transfer a case based upon the “interests of justice.” “Everything” you need to know about forum non conveniens in 3 minutes and 12 seconds.

A motion to dismiss for forum non conveniens may get you to a new court. #forumnonconveniens

What is forum non conveniens?

If the lawsuit was filed in a court that may be proper, BUT another court may be more “appropriate.”

A defendant can file a motion that asks the court to move the case to a more convenient forum. That could be in another county or state.

There is “tension” in the law . Between the preference of the party filing the lawsuit to select an appropriate forum. Yes, the plaintiff generally gets to select her venue among multiple proper ones. See Rule 1.060 (b). So, where’s the legal tension?

Well, the defendant can ask for a more appropriate court room. In many instances, defendants can be sued in multiple counties in Florida. If the plaintiff files in a permitted courthouse, the defendant can still ask the court to move the case. And, the court has certain discretion in the interests of justice. That’s the legal tension.

Note that this type of motion is different than a motion to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action.

See Florida Statutes Chapter 47 on Venue.

You should also read the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 1.061 for cases that can go outside of Florida.

All You Need to Know

So, there is a really good Florida appeals court opinion which explains this Florida legal topic.

It’s from the 5th District Court of Appeal.

You can read this opinion for free. It’s the At Home Auto Glass, LLC v. Mendota Ins. Co. case.

This opinion stands for some basic but important positions.

Also consider reading one other case. Go the 4th District Court of Appeal site and read the case of:

Finally, a 2021 4th DCA opinion confirms that a court, in exercising its discretion, must follow the Kinney factors. Read that case HERE.