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

UPDATED: Nov 11, 2010

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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


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

Answered 12 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.

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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