My husband and I are still married and not legally separated although he lives in another state. He agreed to pay me all the mutual debt I paid during the separation as well as the debt I paid on his behalf after the separation initially took place. Currently he is behind on all of his payments to his own creditors and they have taken that money from my personal account without my permission. (this account was previously used as a payment account when we were living together)
The reason that you cannot sue him in Small Claims Court in California is because he lives outside of California. His status as your husband does not prevent you from suing him. You can also sue him in the state where he lives. And you can sue him in California as an ordinary civil action. However, a judgment entered by a court in California is not automatically enforceable in another state. You would need to file a second lawsuit in the other state to enforce a California judgment in that state.
You mention that someone has taken money out of your account without your permission. Is this a creditor who has a judgment against you? Did the creditor sue you and get a default judgment or a contested judgment? If so, consult an attorney regarding the circumstances. You are not liable for debts incurred by your ex after the date of separation unless you signed on the account.
You can sue him, but whether or not you can do so in small claims depends upon the amount you are claiming he owes you.
If you file a case, you will have to serve him in that state. The issue could come up that the CA court system has no jurisdiction over him based upon the facts provided. You would need to review the small claims rules on that issue.
Additionally, if you do get a judgment, you will then have to get it acknowledged by the state where he resides as a sister state judgment and then attempt to enforce there.
Good luck as this will be time consuming and frustrating to do.
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