2

I have found the phrase "court of domicile" in various contexts, and now I'm wondering if I'm right to assume that this means 'home' court for someone. For instance, in the following example, does "court of domicile" mean roughly 'the court in the defendant's home town'?

The defendant should be sued at their court of domicile

If it means something else, then what does it mean? And also, is there another word or phrase that refers to someone's "home court"?

Edit: Now I've found examples of "court of residence" as well, but I can't quite make out whether there is a difference between the two, and, if so, what the difference would be. Some examples contain both, as in

Whether the court of domicile or the court of residence of the parties is competent to deal with the issue remains to be seen

which suggests that there is a difference.

Any clarification here would be greatly appreciated!

1 Answer 1

2

For instance, in the following example, does "court of domicile" mean roughly 'the court in the defendant's home town'?

It's their home state (or the county or local judicial district level, rather than the state level to determine which state court was the proper venue for an action):

Broadly, domicile can be summarised as an individual's permanent home. It is a common law concept that the courts use to determine which legal system applies to an individual, where that individual has connections with more than one jurisdiction. Domicile is relevant in matters of personal law and where there is a conflict of laws. Source

And...

Each state of the United States is considered a separate sovereign within the U.S. federal system, and each therefore has its own laws on questions of marriage, inheritance, and liability for tort and contract actions.

Persons who reside in the U.S. must have a state domicile for various purposes. For example, a person can always be sued in their state of domicile... Source

Edited to add:

In the legal world there is a big difference between one's "domicle" and one's "residence". For starters, you can have as many residences as you want, but you can have only one domicile, legally speaking. So your domicile is your legal home, which you treat as your fixed and permanent location. It's your principal establishment. Residence is more of a transient concept; your temporary place of abode. Source

So, for example, one can be domicile for tax purposes in the jurisdiction of one court and resident in another's jurisdiction - just like some movie stars and tennis players who domicile in a tax haven but (temporarily) reside in Hollywood or Wimbledon.

3
  • 2
    Court of domicile would also often be used at the county or local judicial district level, rather than the state level to determine which state court was the proper venue for an action such as a probate proceeding. See also more definitions (only subtly different) for domicile: thelawdictionary.org/domicile Intent to remain indefinitely and lack of previous domicile to which one might return are key elements.
    – ohwilleke
    Sep 30, 2021 at 20:22
  • 1
    Thank you Rock Ape! Excellent answer as always! Please see also edit to my original question.
    – Helen
    Oct 1, 2021 at 12:22
  • Thanks again, Rock Ape! Excellent clarification of my added edit!
    – Helen
    Oct 2, 2021 at 10:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.