(Closed) Small Claims Court- what state can I sue in?

posted 7 years ago in Legal
  • poll: What state can I sue in for small claims?
    State of defendent's current residence : (2 votes)
    20 %
    State of plaintiff's residence (and defendent's until ~1 month ago) : (1 votes)
    10 %
    State where business was based (same as Plaintiff's residence) : (5 votes)
    50 %
    Other-please explain! : (2 votes)
    20 %
  • Post # 3
    3771 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: December 1999

    I don’t know, but thank god you found all of this out before your wedding.

    Post # 5
    1006 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I can’t say for sure since I don’t know what state you live in but I believe it this applies to any state:

    You must sue the person where they currently live meaning even the particular county where they live. Small claims court is a local court issue. I sued someone in Georgia once and I lived in Atlanta (Fulton County) but had to file suit in Clayton County where he lives.


    Post # 6
    535 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2011

    Standard Disclaimer–This isn’t legal advice.  I don’t know what state you live in, but the main issue is that the court where you bring the suit must have personal jurisdiction over the photographer.  Personal jurisdiction just means that the court has the power to enforce its decision over the parties involved in a lawsuit.  Usually, that’s the courts in the state where the person lives.  There are other ways to obtain personal jurisdiction, however.  This is typically defined by a state statute.  You should check the laws where you live or ask an attorney in your area for help.  I would seek help soon because of the statute of limitations.  

    Post # 8
    2239 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    It looks like your wedding isn’t until next year so how can you sue her for breach of contract already?

    Post # 9
    1006 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2012


    It may be worth filing the suit. Are you trying to recover a deposit? You could still file and then hope she pays you before the court date.

    You can request copies of her previous lawsuits in your state that are of similar nature and provide them with your complaint letter. I did that too and it helped.

    Post # 10
    95 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Sounds like it might not be a problem with her morals…like you said she had some sort of breakdown….maybe she is mentally ill. Having a mother who is extremely mentally ill, I know she can be normal one week and then a week without meds and she is getting pink slipped into a mental hospital due to being a danger to others. Obviously, I feel bad for you and I hope you get your money back….but if it actually is something wrong with her, pray for her because the system won’t force them to get help unless they are a danger to themselves or others.

    For instance, I know my mom would not hurt a fly and typically she is completely normal but here is one example of her craziness: she thinks she owns the land the airport is on for some reason when she is off her meds. She harasses the airport when she goes off them and of coarse gets pink slipped. She is bipolar but becomes psychotic when she does not have meds (unlike most who just are moody if off them). Obviously I doubt your photographer is like this but just know if she does have a mental illness, she doesn’t mean to do what she does….I guarantee.

    Anyway, I am sorry for your situation.

    Post # 15
    7394 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    Even if you sue her and win, my understanding of small claims (and I maybe wrong about this) is that you are still responsible for the collection of the judgetment. So its not like you win and then the courts get after them about paying. So thats a whole other level of stress. I’m sure it varies by state.

    Post # 16
    11 posts


    You can sue someone out of state, but it is your responsibility to make sure they are served. That does not mean you have to serve them yourself, that means that the court will send you the papers and you either hire someone to serve the person or you send it via certified mail. That is what my sister did and it worked out just fine. Actually, she received a default judgment because they didn’t show up to court. Of course, just because she got the judgment doesn’t mean they are actually going to give her any money, but the company will at least have a judgment against them which does look bad and she filed with the BBB too.


    I guess it all depends on how much time and money you really want to invest in getting revenge on this person since you have found a replacement and you said it isn’t about the money.

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