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 A court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over a case if it is brought in an ineligible forum. Peper v. Princeton Univ. Bd. of Trs., 77 N.J. 55, 65, 389 A.2d 465 (1978). In particular, a plaintiff cannot file suit in a court if he or she has entered into an enforceable agreement to bring such claims in another forum. Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc. v. Shute, 499 U.S. 585, 593-94, 111 S. Ct. 1522, 1527, 113 L. Ed. 2d 622, 632 (1991) (holding that the plaintiffs, cruise ship passengers who had sued the cruise line in the state of Washington, were bound by a forum selection provision in their written travel agreement requiring them to bring suit in Florida).


The question of whether or not a forum selection clause drafted by a seller is binding upon a purchaser turns upon fundamental precepts of contract law. A contract term is generally binding if the contract has been mutually agreed upon by the parties, is supported by valid consideration, and does not violate codified standards or offend public policy. See W. Caldwell v. Caldwell, 26 N.J. 9, 24-26, 138 A.2d 402 (1958). For mutual assent to exist, ...

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