You can bring a small claims court in NY if that is where the defendant resides, regardless of where you live. What the clerk may have told you is that your $9,000 exceeds the small claims limit. You have the option of reducing your claim to $5,000 and staying in small claims court. If you have to give a third to an attorney, with expenses you will end up at about the same amount. If you settle the case with a lawyer who gets 1/3 at say $7K you will be worse off. Unless the lawyer is going to take it to trial and not settle you will be better off doing it yourself in small claims court. If you can get the attorney to agree to prosecute for the full $9K go with the attorney.
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I was going to the small claims for $5000, i know they have the limit.
The reason I can't do in small claims - because I dealt with the company as a company, not an individual
So it does matters. If i was signing a contract as an individual or my company was registered in New York, it would work
Then you will best served if you can get a collection attorney who would take it on a contingency. If your contract gave you the right to collect attorneys fees if you have to enforce your rights, you would not be so restricted. Another option is to see if you can file suit in MD, that will impose an additional cost on the company and give you leverage in getting a better settlement.
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