If I am owed money from someone who lives out-of-state, where doI file a lawsuit?

I purchased a dog from an out-of-state breeder fpr $1,500.  After 1 month we communicated with the breeder and sent the dog back. The breeder agreed to refund our money. I have requested the money, and have received no response. To file a claim in small claims court, should this be filed in NC (where I live) or in FL (where the breeder lives)?

Asked on January 30, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, North Carolina

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Courts must have both subject matter and personal jurisdiction over a matter. Subject matter is the issue at hand and personal jurisdiction is the defendant/respondent. Here it appears the contract was probably considered entered into in Florida, where you sent the money and where the dog was originally located. Further, this is where the breeder lives/resides. So, you would need to file in Florida, but consider this is where you will need to attend the hearing. Consider whether you have a contract with the breeder and if the contract requires you to first attend mediation or arbitration first.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.