Can I sue a foreign corporation if they have an eStore and marketing headquarters in the U.S.?

UPDATED: Jun 2, 2011

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Can I sue a foreign corporation if they have an eStore and marketing headquarters in the U.S.?

I want to sue ASUS Corporation in Davidson County, TN small claims court for numerous abuses regarding several computer transactions. They are a Taiwanese corporation, but their eStore and U.S. marketing operations are based in Fremont, CA. Can I serve them at their Fremont headquarters, and if I win my case or–far more likely, barring a settlement–they allow me to win a default judgment, can I collect? I have successfully won disputes and suits with Best Buy (twice), and HughesNet, so I do have some experience at this. Somebody has to fight these abusive companies.

Asked on June 2, 2011 under Business Law, Tennessee


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You normally can sue a company if that company has subjected itself to U.S. law by conducting business in the U.S. (either in state or federal court) based on subject matter jurisdiction and diversity jurisdiction/in personam jurisdiction. Those phrases are from civil procedure rules in your state. If you are not harmed by this company, you may not be able to prevail over the suit. Further, at some point, the company could show your prior lawsuits are abusive and bad faith (playing devil's advocate here) and could try to have your suit dismissed. Basically, anyone can sue anyone; the issue becomes whether or not the suit itself will continue because jurisdiction has been met, a question of law has been presented or whether it will be dismissed because the initial issues have not been met.

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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