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May I sue someone in small claims court if they live out of state?

Santa Rosa, CA |
Filed under: Lawsuits and disputes

I live in California, and the client lives in Illinois. The client called me and emailed me to California for energy consulting advice, and he agreed to pay. I have many email exchanges and cell phone records of conversation exchanges over his agreement to pay. Fast forward he continues stalling payment for three months, even though I've made repeated requests and he repeatedly told me he would pay. If I sue on small claims court, in which state do I need to file; California or Illinois? If it's Illinois, I'll need to drop the matter, since I cannot afford to travel there to defend my claim. Thanks.

Attorney Answers 1


  1. This question cannot be answered without additional information. Please see the below link for facts that must be considered when selecting a court in which to bring suit.

    If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button at the bottom of this answer or select it as Best Answer. It’s easy and appreciated. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not create a right to continuing email exchanges.

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