Can I sue someone if I’m in one state and they are in another?

UPDATED: Sep 10, 2011

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Can I sue someone if I’m in one state and they are in another?

My child’s father tried to keep my daughter after it was agreed to have her back 2 weeks before school. Because of his anger for some reason, he tried keeping her longer and saying flights were full and gave me the runaround. I ended up the same week school was starting, booking flights for me and my child, and to get her only to find out her father was in FL with his girlfriend and my daughter was in MA. I got the police involved and to my surprise, I caught her father at the airport catching a taxi. I want the money that I spent back since my daughter flies free by him.

Asked on September 10, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, North Carolina


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can sue a person residing in one state where you live in another. The issue is which state has the proper venue (location) for the filing of the desired lawsuit.

In your situation, rather than filing a new action against your former spouse for what recently transpired, you might consider filing a petition against him for what transpired and your claimed damages in any existing child custody matter that is in existence with respect to your daughter. Potentially the child custody matter might have been filed in the state you reside in arising out of any marital dissolution action.

By filing such a petition in an action where the court has existing jurisdiction over the parties, you would save time and money in doing so.

Good luck.

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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