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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Small Claims - He Moved Away

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    If he was in California at all times relevant to the transaction, later moving to Georgia, you can sue him in California - but if you want to use California small claims court you must serve him while he's in California.
    Can I sue him in a civil court in California? Because I do not think he will come back to California because he left to avoid be taking him to court.

    "If he wants to enforce the judgment through the Georgia's court system, yes, but there would not be the same type of defenses to domesticating the judgment as California has both personal and subject matter jurisdiction in relation to the underlying deal/loan." <- I'm so confused. I'm sorry. If I take him to court in California, he must be present to be served. But unless he does not come to California, I would have to file in GA? All of the transactions were in California.

    I do not even know where to begin. I tried to do small claims in California, but was rejected because he did not have a address in California (he lived with people who still live in the house) even tho I do have the address of his Georgia home.

    I looked at the Georgia Small Claims (called Magistrate Court) and it is extremely confusing on who to send it to because all the transactions occured in California.

    >>>

    Is there any way I can file the claim to his old California address (where his landlord lives) and then have him be served in Georgia? I am willing to pay a process server to serve him in his state.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Filing in Small Claims After the Defendant Moves Away

    from: http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/s...html#wherefile





    Contract The claim may be heard in the county or area of court location in which the contract was entered into, where the contract was to be performed by the defendant, or where the plaintiff is entitledto receive payment, unless the claim arises from a consumer purchase.

    but take note of this, which K already spoke of:

    With two exceptions, service of process must be made within the boundaries of the State of California. The following kinds of defendants need not be served within the state:

    A non-resident defendant who owns real property in California if the defendant has no agent for service of process and the claim relates to that property. (The non-resident defendant may send a representative or submit an affidavit to defend against the claim.)
    A non-resident defendant who owned or operated a motor vehicle involved in an accident on a California highway if service of process is made on both the defendant and the Department of Motor Vehicles. Some courts allow the non-resident driver to send a representative (but not an attorney), or submit an affidavit or declaration explaining that person's side of the case, or appear at the hearing by telephone. To determine the court's policy and practice, contact a small claims adviser in the county where the suit has been filed.
    How do you propose serving him in California? That may be why they are refusing to accept your suit; you have no means to serve him.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Filing in Small Claims After the Defendant Moves Away

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    from: http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/s...html#wherefile

    but take note of this, which K already spoke of:

    How do you propose serving him in California? That may be why they are refusing to accept your suit; you have no means to serve him.
    Is there someone I can serve that would represent him? Like his landlords who were present during his time in California?

    So, if he's not in California, I should take him to court in GA? Is there any way I can get my stolen property back? He has my laptop in GA.

    What can I do really?

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Filing in Small Claims After the Defendant Moves Away

    unnyears;379282]Is there someone I can serve that would represent him?
    you have to serve the person you are suing.



    So, if he's not in California, I should take him to court in GA?
    Unless you can conform to the requirements to sue him in California, that would be your only other option.

    Is there any way I can get my stolen property back?
    there is no stolen property.

    He has my laptop in GA.
    No, he has his laptop in GA. He also has the money he owes for the laptop as well.

    You allowed him to purchase a laptop using your credit. That means it is his laptop but he was required to pay for it. Due to the fact he has stopped making the payments on your account, you are now being held responsible for the payments. As such, he owes you for the payments you have made.

    I would suspect a court will order him to pay the balance but actually, if he started making the agreed upon payments to the creditor, all he would actually owe you would be what you paid that he was supposed to.

    Fighting for an amount across the country is often not worth the costs to fight it especially since getting a judgement does not mean he will be any more willing to pay that as he is the creditor for the computer. Then you will be faced with trying to collect on the judgment.

    so, if you want to sue him, either catch him while he is in California or sue in GA. Then figure out how to make him pay the judgment if he refuses to pay as ordered.

    I don't know what he has paid but that might actually be cheaper than trying to sue him and collect on a judgment.

    but what if you sent him money and he still refused to send the computer? Then you are out that money as well.


    sometimes it is just better to walk away.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Filing in Small Claims After the Defendant Moves Away

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    you have to serve the person you are suing.

    Unless you can conform to the requirements to sue him in California, that would be your only other option.

    there is no stolen property.

    No, he has his laptop in GA. He also has the money he owes for the laptop as well.

    You allowed him to purchase a laptop using your credit. That means it is his laptop but he was required to pay for it. Due to the fact he has stopped making the payments on your account, you are now being held responsible for the payments. As such, he owes you for the payments you have made.

    I would suspect a court will order him to pay the balance but actually, if he started making the agreed upon payments to the creditor, all he would actually owe you would be what you paid that he was supposed to.

    Fighting for an amount across the country is often not worth the costs to fight it especially since getting a judgement does not mean he will be any more willing to pay that as he is the creditor for the computer. Then you will be faced with trying to collect on the judgment.

    so, if you want to sue him, either catch him while he is in California or sue in GA. Then figure out how to make him pay the judgment if he refuses to pay as ordered.

    I don't know what he has paid but that might actually be cheaper than trying to sue him and collect on a judgment.

    but what if you sent him money and he still refused to send the computer? Then you are out that money as well.

    sometimes it is just better to walk away.
    Thank you for your advice.

    So the laptop is his, even tho is it under my name and I'm making the payments? Is there any way I can file claim that I can request it back... but I guess not.

    Thank you.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Filing in Small Claims After the Defendant Moves Away

    you can try to make such an argument in court: either pay for the computer or give it to you but short of that, nobody has the authority to make any such demand.

    why the computer is his is that was your agreement. You cannot simply say "hey, now it's mine and I want it back" Granted, he is not living up to his side of the agreement (contract) but that does not allow you to alter the terms of the contract. It allows you to seek he abide by the contract or the have contract voided which is where you would be seeking the return of the computer.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Filing in Small Claims After the Defendant Moves Away

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    you can try to make such an argument in court: either pay for the computer or give it to you but short of that, nobody has the authority to make any such demand.

    why the computer is his is that was your agreement. You cannot simply say "hey, now it's mine and I want it back" Granted, he is not living up to his side of the agreement (contract) but that does not allow you to alter the terms of the contract. It allows you to seek he abide by the contract or the have contract voided which is where you would be seeking the return of the computer.
    Our agreement was, if I began making the payments for the computer, I would like for it returned, but we did that verbally.

    I have written proof that he said he'd pay for the computer time and time again, but no word from him.

    That is why I would like to either get the payment of the computer or the computer. He was making the interest payments to the laptop and not actually the payments, so its still the same as when I first purchased it.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Southeastern Michigan
    Posts
    1,226

    Default Re: Filing in Small Claims After the Defendant Moves Away

    As jk stated, you cannot alter the terms of the (written) contract. A verbal agreement is simply his word against yours and again, jk stated you'd need to make that arguement in court. At that point, it's up to a judge to decide who gets what, if anything at all. Your written proof, based on what you've posted, simply states that he will pay for the computer.

    Does the contract specifically define what "the payment" consists of or the consequences should he breach? Could it be assumed that his paying the interest fullfils his obligation as he IS paying? Quite possibly.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Filing in Small Claims After the Defendant Moves Away

    He stated he'll pay the laptop in full. The cost and interest but made no effort to do so.

    I also have him stating that he will pay me all that is owed to me.

    But no effort has been made.

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