I borrowed $15,000. to my live in boyfriend to pay his lawyer fees in 2008 with an oral agreement that he would pay me back when he got a job .He never got a job and we broke up in 2010. I have proof that my money was paid to his lawyer from MY checking account. All I know is he went back to Georgia and not sure if he's still there. All I have is his social security number and his parents address in Georgia, but he doesn't live there. I have a feeling he's done this to other women. Can I still sue him even though I don't know where he is ? And if I can whats my chances of getting my money ?
Yes. You will need to check your state statutes on how to achieve service of process (summons and complaint) but if you cannot find him, most states will allow for service of process by publication. That means you publish in the classified ads in a newspaper of general circulation in the area that your boyfriend last resided.
However, most statutes allowing for publication will allow you to do so only when you demonstate that you have taken reasonable steps to determine his location. There are a number of internet searches available; you can contract with companies that you will do a "skip trace" to see if they can find him. If after all that, you still cannot find him, the service of process by publication may be appropriate.
As to chances of getting your money, if you do not know where he is now, the likelihood of you getting any money just because you sued him is, well, slim . . . But, on the upside, if you can get a judgment and it stands (service by publication is difavored), most states allow for wage garnishment (my state does not) and if he is employed, you have have his wages garnished (at least until he quits that job).
Hope this answers your questions. Good luck.
By answering this question, general information is provided and no attorney-client relationship is established. For specific inquiries, you should consult with experienced counsel in your area.
Most states have procedures in the "rules of civil procedure" to allow "substituted service" on someone who has left the state & whose address is unknown.
I would suggest retaining a qualified civil litigation attorney to represent you. That attorney should know the rules like the back of his/her hand.
Hope this perspective helps!
Wisconsin allows for service by publication. But if he cannot be found and is living a lifestyle that does not involve working, owning a home, or other usual ways people accumulate some money and stability, your chances of collecting are probably small.
My answer to your question is based on the facts that you provide in your question. Additional factual details about your situation could change my answer completely. The law in inherently uncertain and always subject to change.
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