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Does my state have jurisdiction over someone I want to sue if act occurred in my state and they now live elsewhere??

Louisville, KY |

I am the defendant in a criminal case that has yet to go trial. I need to file a civil claim against the only witness in this criminal case, but the witness now resides in another state. The civil rights issue occurred in my state and this witness lived here at the time of occurrence. Does my state still have
jurisdiction over this witness, or would I need to file a claim in the state where this person now resides?
Yes, I'm familiar with the long arm statute, so does that apply here? Could I do either?

Also, should I wait until my criminal trial has passed or is dismissed because the criminal charge is related to to the civil claim I want to pursue.
I'm wondering if this would be an exception to statute of limitations.

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Attorney answers 3


If basis of civil claim arose where you are living (KY?) , then you can sue in that state.
The balance of your question should be discussed with your attorney in the criminal matter.

The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.


You need to consult with your criminal defense attorney BEFORE filing any lawsuit that may impact your criminal case. From the limited facts you post, your state has subject matter jurisdiction.

If the claim is for false arrest, false imprisonment, defamation, malicious prosecution, libel, slander, perjury, etc., this types of torts have a one year statute of limitations in KY, and some do not mature until you win the criminal case. You need competent legal advice.

I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..


As the other attorneys have stated, you really need to consult with your criminal defense attorney. Filing a civil lawsuit against a witness in your criminal trial could be viewed by a judge or DA as harassment of the witness, which is a crime as well, so be very careful here and consult your attorney before you do ANYTHING.

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