if I want to sue someone in small claims court but they have moved out of state, where do I file suit?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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if I want to sue someone in small claims court but they have moved out of state, where do I file suit?

I want to sue a former associate of mine regarding an incident which took place but he has since moved to another state. Can I file in here or do I have to go all the way to where he now lives? The county court clerk does not know the answer.

Asked on January 4, 2017 under Business Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A state court, whether small claims or otherwise, has no power over a defendant living in another state unless that defendant has certain ties to your state, like owning property there or doing business on at least a semi-regular basis there. If you former associate has no continuing or current ties to your state, you will need to sue him in his own state.

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