Can I collect a small claims judgement awarded in one state court from an out of state corporation?

UPDATED: Jun 25, 2012

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Can I collect a small claims judgement awarded in one state court from an out of state corporation?

I’m a sole proprietor engineering consultant and provided $8710 of engineering service to a corporation supplying information for them to use in preparation of a bid. They now refuse to pay the bill. They acknowledge receipt of the service satisfactorily but decline to pay because they decided to not bid and state there was no written contract for my services. There are emails from them requesting the service and their acknowledgement and gratitude for the helpful information I provided.

Asked on June 25, 2012 under Business Law, California


Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The fact the out of state corporation was doing business in CA most likely gives the court jurisdcition over them even though they are in another state.  I would sue them in small claims, then work with the county sheriff in their state to collect on the judgment.  Even though there is no official contract, the emails could be written evidence of a contract satisfying the statute of frauds (requirement of a writing), if the statute of frauds applies.  In this case there is probably no statute of frauds requirement because the work was most likely capable of being completed within one year.

You probably have a valid oral contract and can sue for breach.

Best of luck.

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