Can a company take me to small claims court if I am inone state and they are in another?

UPDATED: Oct 7, 2011

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Can a company take me to small claims court if I am inone state and they are in another?

About 2 years ago an ad company came to our office to sell ad space. I asked for an ad, however our branch shut down. I requested to cancel the ad. They said to provide them with proof that I no longer worked there. I did. They said okay. Then a year later they are claiming I still owe them money. I had paid them $183;they are now demanding I pay for the full amount of the ad. They never got my permission to print the ad, and said I didn’t provide enough information to cancel it. What can I do?

Asked on October 7, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A lawsuit can be filed where the plaintiff resides or where the defendant resides or where the claim arose.  The company could file a lawsuit in TX where you reside and where the claim arose and where they were doing business or in the state where they are located.

If a lawsuit is filed against you, you will be served by a process server.  You will then need to file an answer to the complaint (complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons).  The answer denies the allegations in the complaint and will need to be filed with the court and served by mail on the opposing party.  If you don't file the answer within the time set forth in the summons, you will lose by default.  If that happens, you will need to file a motion to set aside the default.  If the court grants the motion, the case is then back on track.

If a lawsuit is filed against you, your argument should be that you cancelled the ad and therefore no contract existed between you and the advertising company.  The company agreed that you had cancelled the ad after you provided proof that you no longer worked there since the office was shut down.  You never authorized the ad to continue running and therefore again there was no existing contract and consequently you are NOT liable for the charges.  If you have something in writing that the company agreed you had cancelled the ad, this will be strong evidence in your favor.

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 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.

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