What should I do if the defendant lives out-of-state and owes me for a loan?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What should I do if the defendant lives out-of-state and owes me for a loan?

Approximately 3 months ago I loaned an individual $110 for their cell phone bill. The agreement was for the loan to be paid back within 3 weeks. I have the agreement to the loan via e-mail between us. I am unable to get a hold of the defendant due to being ignored. I understand it is a minimal amount of money compared to most cases but a loan is a loan. Because the defendant is out-of-state, what action(s) do I take now? Are there other damages, such as punitive damages, or anything I may be unaware of, that I can sue for on top of the loan?

Asked on October 26, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Arizona

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 can file in AZ where you live or in the state where the defendant lives.  For convenience purposes such as filing documents with the court and court appearances, it would be preferable for you to file in AZ.  You will need to have your summons and complaint (complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons) served on the defendant.  You can have a process server in the city where the defendant is located serve the documents.  If the defendant is in a small town without any listings for process servers, you can have a process server in a nearby city serve the defendant.  Process servers are listed under attorney services online and in the Yellow Pages.

Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) would be the amount you are owed plus court costs.  Court costs would include the court filing fee and process server fee.  You won't be able to get punitive damages because your lawsuit would be in the category of breach of contract (account stated) and you cannot get punitive damages in this type of case.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption