California  |  Credit and Debt Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 6/16/13, 11:51 am

Which answer is correct? #1 or #2.

Hello, I am a freelance editor living in San Diego, CA. The person I do work for lives in Washington State. She owes me $500 and will not pay. We have both verbal agreement and written emails from her to me requesting to do work, which I did. Can I file a small court claim in San Diego? What are my options? Thank you!

Replies from Lawguru:

1. You can file a small claims case in San Diego. If you win, you probably will have to try to collect against assets in WA state (i.e. bank account, real property), unless the person has assets in California. So you will have to domesticate your judgment in Washington and then pursue collection. Or, you can file a small claims action in Washington and proceed to collection. You'll have to make a business decision about whether it's worth it either way. Robert C.

2. Unless defendant is served within the state, you cannot sue in small claims an out of state defendant. Joe. S

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