What county is appropriate to file a small claims suit when the defendants are located in 2 different counties?

The actual defendant is in the Army in one county (not sure where he is residing now). His father has/had Power of Attorney and actually carried out the deed that prompted the suit. I live in a 3rd county. Can I file against the father or do I need to file against the actual defendant?

Asked on August 15, 2012 under Family Law, Kansas


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A lawsuit can be filed where you, the plaintiff, resides or where the defendant resides or where the claim arose.  You can file your lawsuit in your county.  It would be advisable to name both the father and son as defendants.  Since you know where the father resides, he can be served by a process server.  Since you don't know where the son resides, you may need to serve him by publication which means running a notice of your lawsuit in a newspaper for a certain period of time.  The amount of time required for the notice to run in the newspaper to constitute effective service by publication varies from state to state.  Your court clerk can tell you how long the notice has to run in your state.  Even if the defendant doesn't see the notice in the legal notices section of the newspaper, it is effective service by publication.  Before embarking on service by publication, ask your Small Claims Court advisor if service of process on the father, who has power of attorney for the son, is valid service of process on the son.  If it is, then you won't have to bother with service by publication.  If it is not, then you will need to proceed with service by publication. 

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