I entered a contract to provide certain services. The contract terms were in writing and agreed and signed by both parties.
The contract stated that if any dispute occurred both parties agreed to arbitration before any legal suit could occur. Also, the contract stated that any suit must occur in state or federal court in the County of Denton, Texas.
I have been sued in my home county of Arkansas by the other party.
My question is can I ask the court to dismiss based on the fact that the contract signed by both parties does not give a court in Arkansas jurisdiction over the contract? And is the other party bound by arbitration before they can legally sue?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Re: Contract issue
You can request that the court dismiss your case based on lack of jurisdiction, due to the contract. I hope that you have filed an Answer to the Complaint stating such. You will need to include in your Answer any such issues you wish to raise, and that you are only answering to object to such. There are a couple other issues that need to be addressed with your Answer. There is a possibility that you won't file an Answer, but respond later. But you must discuss this with an attorney. There are several pitfalls that could give them a verdict against you if you don't follow the exact letter of the law, when objecting or answering. Please contact a lawyer to let him help you Answer the Complaint.
As far as the arbitration clause, that would be another argument to make. It is very possible that the judge would uphold the need for arbitration first, depending on the contract.
There are a lot of issues to your questions. I would strongly advise retaining a lawyer to help you sort through this. You will need to do this quickly since there is limited time to Answer the Complaint.