How do I take someone to small claims court if they live in another city?

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How do I take someone to small claims court if they live in another city?

I filed a police report against my cousin for damaged and stolen property. Now I would like to take her to small claims court, so she may for my items.

Asked on April 15, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A lawsuit can be filed where the plaintiff resides or where the defendant resides or where the claim arose.  You are the plaintiff.  Your cousin is the defendant.  For convenience purposes, such as filing documents and the court appearance, you can file in Small Claims Court where you live.  You will need to have the summons and complaint (complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons) served on your cousin.  To reduce the cost of the process server, select a process server located in the city where your cousin lives.  You can find process servers listed under attorney services in the Yellow Pages or online. 

Don't have your cousin served by certified mail because your cousin won't pick up the mail and nothing will be accomplished.  Don't use the marshal because the marshal will make a limited number of attempts to serve your cousin and if unsuccessful will keep your money and nothing will have been accomplished.

When your cousin has been served, file the proof of service with the court.


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