Sounding similar to “comedy,” comity comes up when there are multiple similar lawsuits pending. In an intrastate context, there are specific rules, like ademption or the pending action doctrine, which deal with how successive, similar lawsuits may be addressed. Comity, however, usually comes up in an interstate context.

Comity is where one state court defers to another to “promote uniformity of laws” and ‘harmony in their application.” State ex rel. Dykhouse v. Edwards, 908 S.W.2d 686, 689-90 (Mo. banc 1995). Comity stems from “courtesy, complaisance, respect” — not of “right.” Id. at 689. In other words, it is discretionary and a court may dismiss or stay an action based on comity by weighing the circumstances of a given dispute.

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