Doe v. Spence
A court can dismiss a suit on the basis of forum non conveniens, if public interests favor litigation in another jurisdiction and the other jurisdiction provides an equally suitable forum. The plaintiff police officer, Jane Doe, alleged that when she participated in the Connecticut SWAT challenge in 2009, they shared a room at the Farmington Inn with another police officer, and the defendant allegedly raped, threatened and choked her. The plaintiff did not immediately file a police report, and the Farmington police did not file criminal charges against the defendant. The plaintiff also alleged that the defendant raped and threatened her in Dorchester, Mass., where he resides, and in a truck. The plaintiff filed complaints with the Massachusetts police. The plaintiff allegedly became pregnant with the defendant's child and had an abortion. The plaintiff sued the defendant in Connecticut, alleging assault and battery, emotional distress and invasion of privacy. Previously, the plaintiff sued her employer in Massachusetts, alleging sexual harassment and retaliation, and that suit remains unresolved. The individual defendant, Michael Spence, moved to dismiss, and argued that Connecticut is an inconvenient forum, because the parties, witnesses and evidence are located in Massachusetts. The plaintiff did not identify Connecticut evidence that she would present at trial or any Connecticut witnesses who are expected to provide significant testimony. Massachusetts constitutes an equally significant jurisdiction, because several of the alleged assaults took place in Massachusetts. The plaintiff's medical care providers are located in Massachusetts, and it is not evident that they will voluntarily travel to Hartford for trial. Private interests favor trial in Massachusetts. Connecticut and Massachusetts both possess interests in prosecuting alleged claims of assault and battery. Consolidation of legal claims can help to preserve judicial resources, and the plaintiff already has filed suit against her employer in Massachusetts. The court found that public interests favor litigation in Massachusetts. The defendant offered to waive any defense concerning the statute of limitations in that jurisdiction, if the plaintiff files suit in Massachusetts, and the Connecticut court granted the defendant's motion to dismiss.