How can I sue someone who does not live in the same state as me?

Asked on February 24, 2013 under Business Law, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You are the plaintiff.  The party you are suing is the defendant.  A lawsuit can be filed in the state where the plaintiff resides or in the state where the defendant resides or in the state where the claim arose.

For convenience purposes such as filing documents with the court and court appearances, it would be advisable to file the lawsuit in your state.  You can have a process server, located in or near the city where the defendant resides, serve the defendant with your summons and complaint (the complaint is the lawsuit).  You can find process servers in the Yellow Pages or online listed under attorney services.

If the defendant is a business doing business in your state, it may have an agent for service of process in your state whom you could serve with your lawsuit.  The Secretary of State's office in your state will have information on the defendant's agent for service of process.

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