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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Broomfield, Colorado, United States
    Posts
    5

    Default How to Sue a Business That Has Closed Their Office

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Colorado
    I was a fool and signed over my entire insurance check to a
    roofing company to have them replace my roof. After 4.5
    months I still don't have a new roof and am attempting to
    sue them in Small Claims court. I just discovered yesterday
    that they've closed the office that is listed on their web
    page, business cards, etc. How can I now serve them their
    summons? Should I serve it to the registered agent of the
    company (who appears to have moved from his listed address
    with the Colorado Secretary of State)? One additional complexity
    is that the registered agent doesn't reside in the county where the
    business used to operate. So which county would I have to serve
    the lawsuit from?

    Any advice would be welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    9,270

    Default Re: How to Sue a Business That Has Closed Their Office

    Yes, serve it on the registered agent. You can file the lawsuit in your own county.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Broomfield, Colorado, United States
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: How to Sue a Business That Has Closed Their Office

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post
    Yes, serve it on the registered agent. You can file the lawsuit in your own county.
    Thanks for your response. Are you sure about being able to file the lawsuit in my own county? Two different county courthouses have told me that the suit has to be filed in the county where the business operates because otherwise they would have no jurisdiction over that business. Is the situation different since the business doesn't seem to currently have an operating address?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    72,957

    Default Re: How to Sue a Business That Has Closed Their Office

    Looking at the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure,
    Quote Quoting CRCP, Rule 98. Place of Trial
    (a) Venue for Real Property, Franchises, and Utilities. All actions affecting real property, franchises, or utilities shall be tried in the county in which the subject of the action, or a substantial part thereof, is situated.

    (b) Venue for Recovery of Penalty, etc. Actions upon the following claims shall be tried in the county where the claim, or some part thereof, arose:
    (1) For the recovery of a penalty or forfeiture imposed by statute, except that when it is imposed for an offense committed on a lake, river, or other stream of water, situated in two or more counties, the action may be brought in any county bordering on such lake, river, or stream and opposite the place where the offense was committed;

    (2) Against a public officer or person specially appointed to execute his duties, for an act done by him in virtue of his office, or against a person who by his command, or in his aid, does anything touching the duties of such officer, or for a failure to perform any act or duty which he is by law required to perform.
    (c) Venue for Tort, Contract, and Other Actions.
    (1) Except as provided in sections (a), (b), and (c)(2) through (6) of this Rule, an action shall be tried in the county in which the defendants, or any of them, may reside at the commencement of the action, or in the county where the plaintiff resides when service is made on the defendant in such county; or if the defendant is a nonresident of this state, the same may be tried in any county in which the defendant may be found in this state, or in the county designated in the complaint, and if any defendant is about to depart from the state, such action may be tried in any county where plaintiff resides, or where defendant may be found and service had.

    (2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, an action on book account or for goods sold and delivered may also be tried in the county where the plaintiff resides or where the goods were sold; an action upon contract may also be tried in the county where the same was to be performed.

    (3)
    (A) For the purposes of this Rule, a consumer contract is any sale, lease, or loan in which (i) the buyer, lessee, or debtor is a person other than an organization; (ii) the goods are purchased or leased, the services are obtained, or the debt is incurred, primarily for a personal, family, or household purpose; and (iii) the initial amount due under the contract, the total amount initially payable under the lease, or the initial principal does not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars.

    (B) An action on a consumer contract shall be tried (i) in the county in which the contract was signed or entered into by any defendant; or (ii) in the county in which any defendant resided at the time the contract was entered into; or (iii) in the county in which any defendant resides at the time the action is commenced. If the defendant is a nonresident of this state, the same may be tried in any county in which the defendant may be found in this state, or in the county designated in the complaint, and if any defendant is about to depart from the state, such action may be tried in any county where plaintiff resides, or where defendant may be found and service had.

    (C) In any action on a consumer contract if the plaintiff fails to state facts in the complaint or by affidavit showing that the action has been commenced in the proper county as described in this Rule, or if it appears from the stated facts that venue is improper, the court may, upon its own motion or upon motion of any party, dismiss any such action without prejudice; however, if appropriate facts appear in the record, the court shall transfer the action to an appropriate county. Any provision or authorization in any consumer contract purporting to waive any rights under subsection (3) of section (c) of this Rule is void.

    (D) Any debt collector covered by the provisions of the Federal "Fair Debt Collection Practices Act" shall comply with the provisions of said Act set forth in 15 U.S.C. 1692(i) concerning legal actions by debt collectors, notwithstanding any provision of this Rule.
    (4) An action upon a contract for services may also be tried in the county in which the services were to be performed.

    (5) An action for tort may also be tried in the county where the tort was committed.

    (6) An action in interpleader may also be tried in any county where a claimant resides.
    (d) Venue for Injunction to Stay Proceedings. When any injunction shall be granted to stay a suit or judgment, the proceeding shall be had in the county where the judgment was obtained or the suit is pending.

    (e) Motion to Change Venue; When Presented; Waiver; Effect of Filing.
    (1) Except for actions under section (c)(3), (f)(2), or (g) of this Rule, a motion to change venue shall be filed within the time permitted for the filing of motions under the defenses numbered (1) to (4) of section (b) of Rule 12, and if any such motion, or any other motion permitted by Rule 12, is filed within said time, simultaneously therewith. Unless so filed, the right to have venue changed is waived. A motion under sections (c)(3), (f)(2), or (g) of this Rule, shall be filed prior to the time a case is set for trial, or the right to have venue changed on said grounds is waived, unless the court, in its discretion, upon motion filed or of its own motion, finds that a change of venue should be ordered.

    (2) If a motion to change venue is filed within the time permitted by section (a) of Rule 12 for the filing of a motion under the defenses numbered (1) to (4) of section (b) of Rule 12, the filing of such motion by a party under the provisions of subsection (1) of this section (e) alters his time to file his responsive pleading as follows: If the motion is overruled the responsive pleading shall be filed within ten days thereafter unless a different time is fixed by the court, and if it is allowed the responsive pleading shall be filed within ten days after the action has been docketed in the court to which the action is removed unless that court fixes a different time.

    (3) Except as otherwise provided in an order allowing a motion to change venue, earlier ex parte and other orders affecting an action, or the parties thereto, shall remain in effect, subject to change or modification by order of the court to which the action is removed.
    (f) Causes of Change. The court may, on good cause shown, change the place of trial in the following cases: (1) When the county designated in the complaint is not the proper county; (2) When the convenience of witnesses and the ends of justice would be promoted by the change.

    (g) Change from County. If either party fears that he will not receive a fair trial in the county in which the action is pending, because the adverse party has an undue influence over the minds of the inhabitants thereof, or that they are prejudiced against him so that he cannot expect a fair trial, he may file a motion supported by an affidavit for a change of venue.The opposite party may file a counter motion and affidavit. If the motion is sustained the venue shall be changed.

    (h) Transfers Where Concurrent Jurisdiction. All actions or proceedings in which district and county courts have concurrent jurisdiction, may, by stipulation of the parties and order of the court, be transferred by either court to such other court of the same county. Upon transfer, the court to which such cause is removed shall have and exercise the same jurisdiction as if originally commenced therein.

    (i) Place Changed if All Parties Agree. When all parties assent, or when all parties who have entered their appearance assent and the remaining nonappearing parties are in default, the place of trial of an action in a district court may be changed to any other county in the district. The judgment entered therein, if any, shall be transmitted to the clerk of the district court of the original county for filing and recording in his office.

    (j) Parties Must Agree on Change. Where there are two or more plaintiffs or defendants, the place of trial shall not be changed unless the motion is made by or with the consent of all the plaintiffs or defendants, as the case may be.

    (k) Only One Change; No Waiver. In case the place of trial is changed the party securing the same shall not be permitted to apply for another change upon the same ground. A party does not waive his right to change of judge or place of trial if his objection thereto is made in apt time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Broomfield, Colorado, United States
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: How to Sue a Business That Has Closed Their Office

    Thanks! I appreciate your help.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Broomfield, Colorado, United States
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: How to Sue a Business That Has Closed Their Office

    FYI, I called the courthouse and they explained to me that the rules for Civil procedures are completely different from small claims. For small claims, the hearing must be in the county where the defendant resides / operates. Thanks again for your help.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: How to Sue a Business That Has Closed Their Office

    I don't do small claims, but in a regular civil action, you can sue a business that has closed IF it is a corporation. A corporation can be sued up to two years after it has been dissolved. Of course, just because a business closed its office, does not mean it has been dissolved. If it is not incorporated, then you can sue the individual owners personally as there is no corporate shield. Also, in many cases the owner of a business if he/she was personally involved in the transaction and carrying out the work, can also be personally sued.

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