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The small claims court was telling you that they have questionable jurisdiction over that Oregon company in a CA court unless you catch an officer in CA and server him/her there. Many states, including CA have "long arm jurisdiction" statutes, whereby their courts may assert jurisdiction over non-residents who have contact with the state. It is a complex constitutional law question. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_arm_jurisdiction. Your other choice is to send the matter to a lawyer in Oregon who will take the case on a percentage of the recovery. Those lawyers are hard to find for cases where the damage claim can be contested, i.e. where it is not just a collection case. If you sue them in CA small claims court, you might be able to get a default judgment which you can send to Oregon for collection. This costs the other party money to defend and might prompt a settlement.I hope this Answer is helpful and that you will give it a positive rating. If you have any follow up questions please send back a Reply. You should consult a local attorney to verify that this information is accurate for your state. Thank you for using Pearl.com- Just Answer. We appreciate your business.
What do you recommend? Should I go to court and try to take advantage of Long Arm Jurisdiction, since it exists in CA? How do I proceed if I am unable to serve them in CA? Thanks.
You will have to serve summons on their where they are by certified mail, or by having your local sheriff forward the documents to a sheriff in their county. That is what will set up the long arm jurisdiction argument. It will be on them to raise it either in your court or in theirs when you go there to try to collect it.