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!
2 Answers from Attorneys
Unless defendant is served within the state, you cannot sue in small claims an out of state defendant.
On further research, Mr. Selik is correct. The defendant would have to be sued in Washington State. The California Small Claims Act allows for service of an out-of-state defendant only in two circumstances that don't apply here: 1) real property that is the subject of the suit is owned in this state; or 2) the auto accident happened in this state.