Filing a lawsuit against a non-US Citizen.

I have a client that owes over $5,000 to my company for is stay in one of our corporate housing apartments in Houston, Texas. I don’t have a current address to serve him, but I do have his passport information. What are my options?

Asked on June 11, 2009 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Not very good. You *can* file against a non-U.S. citizen, but it is very difficult to enforce against a non-U.S. citizen, especially one not resident and/or not possessing assets on U.S. soil. If you could proceed someone who is a U.S.  citizen or has U.S. assets--for example, you say it was "corporate housing apartments"; was he working for a company w/U.S. offices that you could proceed against instead?--you have a better chance of collecting. In the absence of some U.S. tie or U.S. assets, there's a good chance that even if you're legally in the right, you will not be able to collect, and will end up spending more money pursuing the matter than you'd get--$5,000 is a very low amount to bring an international action for.

 


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