Venue in CA
July 14, 2007 2:26 PM   Subscribe

What venue do I have to file a complaint in in CA if the contract was signed in LA County, the defendant's whereabouts are unknown but his last address was in Claremont, and the contract was supposed to be performed in San Bernardino?

Can I file in San Bernardino County since the contract was supposed to be performed there, but was breached by defendant? We do not know where the defendant is - he might have skipped the country. But we have his DMV address in Claremont.
posted by Kimpossible to Law & Government (4 answers total)
What type of court? Small Claims?
posted by winston at 2:32 PM on July 14, 2007

You're going to have two practical problems after answering this question (which needs someone who knows California law): serving the guy and getting any money out of him if you win your case.
posted by megatherium at 2:44 PM on July 14, 2007

If you're filing in anything but small claims court, your lawyer will answer this for you.

If you are filing in small claims court, you may file in your jurisdiction (where your business is based), the jurisdiction in which the contract was to be performed, or the jurisdiction the defendant lives. Whatever is more convenient for you. You may want to research small claims courts in each jurisdiction and file where you see the most favorable court for your type of claim.
posted by BuddhaBelly at 2:54 PM on July 14, 2007

P.S. One of the nice things about small claims court is that the judge or arbitrator generally gives the plaintiff the benefit of the doubt and helps you as much as s/he can - the clerk is the same way. If you file in the wrong jurisdiction, the clerk will tell you.
posted by BuddhaBelly at 2:55 PM on July 14, 2007

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