Cana resident of one state sue a corporation of another state in Small Claims Court?

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Cana resident of one state sue a corporation of another state in Small Claims Court?

I am in CA and I have done freelance work for a company in CT. They are refusing to pay the final invoice of just less than $7,000. Since that’s below the Small Claims ceiling here in CA, can I sue them in Small Claims Court? Or, do I have to use the regular Civil court because they’re out of state? Or, would it be more time and cost effective to have the whole thing handled in CT?

Asked on November 11, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A lawsuit can be filed where the plaintiff resides or where the defendant resides or where the claim arose.  You could file your lawsuit in either CA or CT.  For convenience purposes, such as court appearances and court filings, you should file in CA.  In addition to the amount of your claim, you should also include court costs such as the court filing fee and process server fee.  Have a CT process server serve the corporation for you after you have filed your lawsuit in CA.  Given the amount in question, you can file in Small Claims Court.  The process server in CT should return the proof of service to you after the the corporation has been served with the lawsuit.  File the proof of service with Small Claims Court in CA.


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