Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Can You Sue an Out of State Defendant in NY Small Claims?

Helping my pops with something -can you sue an out of state loser1207/09/17
I glanced at it so maybe I'm missing something but it says n isthisit07/09/17
No, they have to have an office/ location where they regular alphadog1507/09/17
While there may be an issue of venue, if a corporation trans qdllc07/10/17
These rules don't apply for NY small claims, NY requires the alphadog1507/10/17
loser12 (Jul 9, 2017 - 10:21 am)

Helping my pops with something -can you sue an out of state corporation in NY small claims for a contract arising in NY?

p. 4 suggests the answer is no - http://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/pdfs/smallclaimshandbook.pdf

I'll call tomorrow but figure someone probably knows.

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isthisit (Jul 9, 2017 - 1:31 pm)

I glanced at it so maybe I'm missing something but it says near the bottom corporations can be sued in small claims.

But reread the contract and look at the Choice of Law/Choice of Forum clause which undoubtedly is there. And look for any ADR clause. These will probably be towards the end with the boilerplate.

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alphadog15 (Jul 9, 2017 - 6:54 pm)

No, they have to have an office/ location where they regularly do business in the county you intend to sue in.

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qdllc (Jul 10, 2017 - 7:44 am)

While there may be an issue of venue, if a corporation transacts regular business in a state, absent a contractual "choice of law" clause, they should be subject to jurisdiction as they (or their representative) physically entered the state to transact business (unless NY law specifically requires otherwise). A physical location in the state/county may not be required to obtain jurisdiction. Clearly, you'd be arguing subject matter jurisdiction and not personal jurisdiction.

It might be worth it to try as the corporation would (at least) have to make an appearance to object on the basis of lack of jurisdiction.

How much $$$ are we talking here? For a small enough matter, it's more cost-effective to resolve the dispute than to have someone show up to argue the case.

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alphadog15 (Jul 10, 2017 - 5:46 pm)

These rules don't apply for NY small claims, NY requires the defendant to have an established presence in the county/ city in which the claim is brought.

For instance, if you have a plaintiff that resides in the City of Long Beach (Which has its own city court and small claims) and a defendant that resides or has an office up the road in Hempstead, then the claim would have to be brought in Nassau County small claims. The plaintiff would not be able to bring the case in Long Beach City Court.

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