Contract work with no payment in over 60 days

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Contract work with no payment in over 60 days

What steps need to be taken in small claims when it has been well over 60 days
with no payment from a modeling agency. I cannot find any of their information on
the web, which makes me suspicious. All that I have is their phone number and
P.O box that was listed on the contract I signed.
I also noticed that it says any litigations must take place in Mariana County,
Indiana. Is there anyways to bypass this?

Asked on March 22, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You may not have any recourse. First, "venue selection" clauses, or contractual terms about where litigation must occur, are generally enforceable. In the case of fraud, you may be able to get around it, but it's an uphill battle; there is a reasonably good chance you'd have to sue in IN.
Second, you can't sue without a street address for service of process. 
Third, if they are physically located in another state, you can't sue in small claims court (even if you got around the IN clause), since small claims is only for local cases; therefore, you'd have to use the slower and more expensive process for a "regular" lawsuit in county or district court. This may make it not cost effective.
Fourth, even if you sued them and won, if they don't then pay the judgment voluntarily, you'd have to undertake collections efforts, which can take a considerable amount of time, effort, and money.
There simply may be no good way to get your money.


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