Ayco Farms, Inc. v. Ochoa

Dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds affirmed in suit by Florida corporation against to residents of Mexico over contract to raise crops in Mexico; neither party was a California resident and Mexico had a greater interest in adjudicating the dispute.  The district court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing this action by a Florida corporation against two Mexican residents with whom it had contracted in Mexico to raise crops for sale in the United States and elsewhere.  After the Mexicans filed suit in Mexico against plaintiff, plaintiff filed this suit in the Central District of California.  The decision holds that in evaluating the forum non conveniens private and public interest factors, the district court properly compared litigation in Mexico with litigation in the particular state in which plaintiff filed suit, not with litigation in the United States as a whole.  The district court did not err in according relatively little weight to plaintiff’s choice of forum since plaintiff was not located in California and had little connection with the state.  The district court correctly balanced the public and private interests, finding that Mexico had a greater interest in the case than California, as the contract was made and to be performed in Mexico, the witnesses were in Mexico and could not be compelled to appear in California for trial, and there was already a case pending between the parties in Mexico arising from the same events.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (per curiam); July 10, 2017; 2017 WL 2924115

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