Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Natalee Holloway Case: Is New York the Proper Forum?



Elizabeth Ann Twitty and Dave Edward Holloway, the parents of Natalee Holloway have filed a civil suit against two men they believe are responsible for Natalee's disappearance. The problem? Twitty and Holloway are from Alabama, are suing two men from Aruba, for actions they believe occurred in Aruba. And they have pled Alabama law. But the suit was filed in state court in Manhattan, New York.

The Defendants have filed a forum non conveniens motion. In the motion, the Defendants allege that they are sympathetic to the Plaintiffs' not knowing the present whereabouts of Natalee, recognize the Plaintiffs' hardship and the vast media attention that has been brought upon them and the case. However, the Defendants allege:

. . . the courts of New York will not entertain claims which lack a "substantial nexus" with this state. [citation omitted.] This action not only lacks the requisite substantial nexus to New York, but lacks any nexus to this State. All parties to the action are nonresidents and nondomiciliaries of New York. All causes of action alleged in the complaint arose in Aruba, a foreign jurisdiction. Aruban law must be applied to adjudicate this case. To litigate this case in New York would put a tremendous burden on the parties and the Court given the great distances involved and the location of witnesses and evidence some 2000 miles away.


Hat-tip: Appellate Law & Practice (March 20, 2006)

**UPDATE:
Kierkegaard Lives, August 6, 2006 (NY judge dismisses civil case)

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