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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 6850
Experience:  30+ yrs. representing small business, real estate, probate
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My California-based business bought parts from a vendor based

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My California-based business bought parts from a vendor based in Oregon. We posted the job on a bidding web site called MFG.com, and they responded. We found the parts unusable after they began snapping in use. While we disagreed on who was responsible, we agreed on a plan for how to proceed. They were going to re-make the parts, and we were going to pay for the materials cost. Then they backed out of the plan and left us holding the bag.

See my previous question: http://www.justanswer.com/business-law/7cmxo-business-vendor-delivered-spindles-us.html

I would like to sue this vendor for 5000 to recoup the cost of the parts and cover the damages caused.

I don't think they have an office in CA. The previous JustAnswer expert / advisor said that this Vendor was 'doing business in California' by responding to our post on MFG.

However, I visited the Alameda County Small Claims Advisory Service and they said I would need to serve the vendor in CA.

How can I take advantage of Small Claims if they don't have an office in CA? I don't think it would be worth it to hire a lawyer for this case. The damages would have to be much higher to make it worthwhile.

I need advice on how to proceed. Thanks.

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.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

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.

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