Am I obligated to appear in a small claim court in one state if I am in another?

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Am I obligated to appear in a small claim court in one state if I am in another?

Ex-customer of our brought an iPad upon receiving stated the unit did not charge, asked him to ship it back to us once we received it everything works fine. Threaten to sue us, told him if that’s the case we rather refund you the full amount which we did. A week and a half later I received a letter from Missouri Boone county court of a small claim, claim of $3000 when the amount of purchase was $404. He stated “delayed in settling dispute after dispute agreement, lost of ability to conduct business and customer harassment by employee” this statement never true. We have document.

Asked on May 21, 2012 under Business Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A lawsuit can be filed where the plaintiff resides or where the defendant resides or where the claim arose.

You should file an answer to the complaint (complaint is the lawsuit) within the time set forth in the summons.  The answer to the complaint denies the allegations in the complaint.  File your answer to the complaint with the court and serve a copy by mail on the plaintiff.  If you don't timely file your answer and serve it by mail on the opposing party, the opposing party will have a default judgment entered against you.  If that happens, you will need to file a motion to set aside the default.  If the court grants your motion to set aside the default, the case is then back on track and litigation will continue.  Small Claims Court may have a court form for an answwer to the complaint.

You don't have to appear in person in Missouri.  You can appear by telephone and participate in the hearing.  Contact the court clerk in Missouri to find out about their rules for telephone appearances because you will probably need to file a form requesting a telephone appearance and if the form isn't timely filed, the court will deny your request for a telephone appearance.


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