She is silent because she does not want to pay and you are 8000 miles away . More details are needed . You are going to incur attorney fees in trying to collect this owed money.
Andrew Roberts (818) 597-0633/ (805) 496-7777
First, to answer your question, yes, it is possible for a lawyer in California to help you here. However, there are a lot of questions.
First, when you say (LA), do you mean Los Angeles, or do you mean Louisiana ("LA" is the abbreviation for Louisiana). Being in the right place is a vital first step.
Second, when was the last payment? That may be needed to determine if a statute of limitation applies.
Third, what is the extent of the written record? Are the emails sufficiently clear that she promised to pay the money back? Do you have written proof that the money was sent to her? Is there written proof that she has paid at least some of it back?
It is going to be quite difficult, though not impossible, to get a judgment against her. I'm not saying it cannot be done, but it cannot be done easily. You really need a lawyer to help.
www.bayoaklaw.com. 510-208-5500. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is not legal advice, because it is only of a general nature. Please contact a lawyer qualified in your jurisdiction to discuss your situation in confidence, using your factual details. Avvo answers are only general legal responses. Item 9 of Avvo.com's Terms and Conditions are incorporated in this disclaimer as though it were printed here.
It is legally possible but depending on the amount it may not be worth it.
Even though an attorney can do everything from the demand letter first contact to filing suit to other matters, the client must come to the US to testify at trial as we do not permit trial by declaration (unless it is a default prove-up.)
After that expense you have a judgment, not money. Collecting it is not always easy or even possible.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.