Northern Leasing Systems, Inc. v. French – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Northern Leasing Systems, Inc. v. French, 48 Misc 3d 43, 13 N.Y.S.3d 855 [App T 1st Dept 2015], the Court found that the parties' dispute had no substantial nexus with New York because the lease agreement was signed in California where the defendant's business and the equipment were located and where Defendant is a resident with no ties to New York. (48 Misc 3d at 45).

Quoting from Silver v. Great American Insurance Company (29 NY2d 356, 361, 278 N.E.2d 619, 328 N.Y.S.2d 398 [1972]), the Court in French observed that "our courts should not be under any compulsion to add to their heavy burdens by accepting jurisdiction of a cause of action having no substantial nexus with New York." (Id.).

After noting the defendant's advanced age and that the amount in dispute was minor, the Court held that it would be unreasonable to enforce the forum selection provision and granted the defendant's motion to dismiss on forum non conveniens grounds. (Id.).