Case Caption: Christopher Gayanich v. Brittley Dawn GayanichCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2017-0065Date: 07/18/2018Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary: In divorce and child custody actions, there is no error in the Superior Court’s holding that the Virgin Islands is an inconvenient forum to hear the child custody portion of the case under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, 16 V.I.C. § 133, dismissing that aspect of the case under the doctrine of forum non conveniens. No reversible error was committed in taking statutory factors into account when analyzing section 133(b)(6) and each factor can be construed to support the conclusion that the majority of witnesses and evidence of parenting is located in Oklahoma, thus indicating that litigation of the underlying child custody matter is more appropriate there. Because the Superior Court’s factual conclusion bears a rational relationship with the evidentiary data under the relevant factors for analysis, there is no error on that issue. However, the Superior Court’s sua sponte dismissal of the action in its entirety is reversed. Title 5 V.I.C. § 4905 extends a general inconvenient forum provision to cases filed in this Territory, but the parties did not have the opportunity to address the question of proper forum specifically for the divorce action before the Superior Court sua sponte dismissed it. The judgment is reversed insofar as it dismissed of the divorce action, and that portion of the matter is remanded to the Superior Court with instructions to determine whether the Virgin Islands is the proper forum to hear that matter after permitting the parties to present evidence on that question.Attachment: Open Document or Opinion