What are my rights? What claims do I have?
This is a complicated matter, and one that I cannot give an accurate answer to without knowing a lot more facts about your case. However, based on what you are saying, I would say "probably not". The heart of this matter is whether the person in Illinois had sufficient contacts with California to make it fair to hail them into court in California. Based on the sparse facts you are telling me, the answer is probably not. However, the actual facts of your case may show sufficient contacts with California to warrant filing an action there.
With a matter like this, you are definitely going to need to speak with an attorney in California about it.
Good luck with your issue.
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California Superior Court tends to favor the convenience of the defendant--in other words, the court will make you show why it would be reasonable to force the defendant to travel across the country to answer a suit.
To really begin to answer, you need to supply some more facts---what was the false information? What was the private information? What is your relationship with the person who posted the data? You should consider finding an attorney with experience in libel and/or privacy issues. The attorney will interview you and determine the important facts. Most important, though, the attorney will be able to advise you about the downsides of a lawsuit.
Another thing to consider before you sue is this: if you are suing over whether information is false, the truth of the information becomes an issue and the person who posted may be able to submit additional embarrassing information as evidence to the court. If the post involved your mental or physical health, personal medical information may become fair game.
If you haven't already, you may want to consider contacting the host to equest that it removes the posting(s).
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