Richburg v. Estate of Richburg, No. A-1951-16T1, 2018 WL 5728500 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Nov. 2, 2018)

This action to quiet title sought to set aside deeds on various grounds. The real estate at issue was located in Jersey City, New Jersey.  The deeds involved a decedent who was a resident of Kings County, New York, at death, and so the estate was the subject of probate in Kings County, New York.

The New Jersey trial court dismissed the action on forum non conveniens, in light of the New York probate. The Appellate Division reversed.

The appellate court explained that forum non conveniens favors retention of jurisdiction unless the forum is manifestly improper. Id. at *7.

In addition, while noting the trial court’s conclusion that the probate and title actions were intertwined, the Appellate Division found that “New Jersey is the only state that can adjudicate title to the property.” Id. at *9.  The appeals court advised that a court of one state cannot directly impact the title to land in another state.