Brief Fact Summary. The Plaintiff, Richmond (Plaintiff), a resident of California brought suit against her ex-husband Brooks (Defendant), a New York resident, in New York Supreme Court. Plaintiff offered her deposition at trial as her proof, but the court refused to receive it and later dismissed her action for failure of proof.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A foreign litigant’s inability to be physically present at trial may be substituted by her deposition, which may be offered as substantive material at trial.
Issue. Whether a foreign plaintiff, who is unable to be present at trial, may submit as proof her deposition taken during the course of litigation.
Held. Yes. The unusually and seriously burdensome character of a case such as this does not deny plaintiff remedy in New York.
Discussion. Federal courts are open to foreign parties. Procedural rules, which in their practical application deny jurisdiction to these parties, are not to be construed in a manner that imposes unusual and burdensome conditions on these litigants. Though parties have the right to cross-examine party-opponents at trial, the unavailability of foreign litigants due to burdens such as distance, may except that right. Judges have discretion to invoke such a protection.