What is the right county should a lawsuit be brought?

I am an independent contractor who has incorporated (sub-S) for a mid size manufacturer. In our business contract with the manufacturer, it is set that when a customer that I sold to has not paid their invoices after 75 days, 1/2 the amount of the invoice would be deducted from me (my company). If I choose to take this customer to small claims court, does it matter what county I file the claim? Does it have to be where they are located? Can it be anywhere in the state?

Asked on October 17, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New Jersey


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In most states in this country the location of where a lawsuit is to be filed (venue) for breach of a contract cause of action is either: 1. where the contract was entered into, 2. where the defendant resides, 3. where the breach occured.

In your situation it is best to have the small claims court action filed in the county where you reside for practical reasons.

If the agreement was entered in the county where you reside then you should file your small claims court there. If not, you file the small claims court action in the county where the defendant has its business. Another option is to simply file in the county where you reside and see if the defendant makes a motion to change venue.

Good luck.

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