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A case may not be transferred to another parish on the basis of forum non-conveniens, when the parish the suit was brought in is the parish of plaintiff's domicile. La. Code Civ. P. 123A.
Plaintiff, Antin-Quealy, Inc., was a Louisiana corporation domiciled in Tangipahoa Parish. Plaintiff entered into two contracts with defendant, WTA Marine, Inc., a corporation domiciled in Lafourche Parish. The contracts were negotiated by mail, phone and fax. They were executed by plaintiff in Tangipahoa Parish, and by defendant in Lafourche Parish. Subsequently, plaintiff filed the instant suit in Tangipahoa Parish, seeking declaratory relief regarding the contracts. Defendant filed an exception of improper venue, arguing that Tangipahoa Parish was not the proper venue for the suit. The trial court granted defendant’s exception of improper venue, and transferred the case to Lafourche Parish. Plaintiff filed an application for supervisory writs, and the court of appeal denied the writ, finding the trial court's ruling was correct. Defendant then applied to the Supreme Court of Louisiana.
Could the plaintiff’s suit be removed to another parish on the basis of forum non-conveniens?
The judgment of the trial court was reversed. According to the court, where a contract was executed in more than one parish, venue was proper in either parish. However, because Tangipahoa Parish was plaintiff's domicile, the suit could not be removed to another parish on the basis of forum non-conveniens, La. Code Civ. P. 123 A. The case was remanded to the 21st Judicial District Court for the Parish of Tangipahoa for further proceedings.