The Doctrine of Forum Non Conveniens in the United States

“The doctrine of forum non conveniens permits a US court to decline to exercise its judicial jurisdiction if the court would be a seriously inconvenient forum and if an adequate alternative forum exists.” In all cases in which the doctrine … comes into play, it presupposes at least two forums in which the defendant is amenable to process; the doctrine furnishes criteria for choice between them.” The doctrine “can never apply if there is absence of jurisdiction or mistake of venue.” “The forum non conveniens determination is committed to the sound discretion of the trial court. It may be reversed only when there has been a clear abuse of discretion.” The Supreme Court of the United States has repeatedly reaffirmed the doctrine of forum non conveniens even though it has no direct federal statutory or constitutional foundation.