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forum non conveniens

(for-uhm nahn cahn-vee-nee-ehns) n. Latin for a forum which is not convenient. This doctrine is employed when the court chosen by the plaintiff (the party suing) is inconvenient for witnesses or poses an undue hardship on the defendants, who must petition the court for an order transferring the case to a more convenient court. A typical example is a lawsuit arising from an accident involving an out-of-state resident who files the complaint in his/her home state (or in the defendant driver's home state), when the witnesses and doctors who treated the plaintiff are in the state where the accident occurred, which makes the latter state the most convenient location for trial.


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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications