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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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defendant lives in California...... Plaintiff lives in Argentina......

Customer Question

defendant lives in California...... Plaintiff lives in Argentina...... made a deal to purchase a tractor to export to Argentina..... Plaintiff sends a deposit for tractor... then finds another tractor for cheaper price... backs out of the deal...

Now Plaintiff sues defendant in Florida. ( plaintiff sent money via wire transfer from Argentina to a friend in florida then that friend sent wire from Florida to California )
for deposit of purchase of tractor.

Does Plaintiff have subject matter jurisdiction .... ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

If defendant rarely if ever does business in Florida, then the transmittal of the payment through a Florida intermediary would not satisfy the constitutional "minimum contacts" test, which requires that the defendant must have minimum contact with a jurisdiction, such that defendant seeks the benefits of that jurisdiction's laws or markets, so that it would be fair for defendant to appear and defend in the jurisdiction.

A single payment made from a Florida intermediary to a California vendor would not have a "snowball's chance in hell" of providing jurisdiction for a lawsuit.

For customer service purposes, please let me know if my answer is helpful. Thanks in advance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

hey Soccrateser I spoke to you about 2 years ago on this... I wish you were in California to defend me...


I live in California have no contacts in Florida. never been to florida, have never done business in Florida. the Plaintiffs attorney claims he was on Vacation during that time.. in Florida.. would that make a difference..


( I have emails of transaction were he was not in Florida )

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Now I received a default judgement for $25,000 deposit was for $6000


he got me for fuad.. all kinds of stuff..


 


any how.. they served the complaint at a postal office box rental, I did not answer the complaint. a person who shared the box rental answered the complaint. by them selfs.. with out asking me.. I was out traveling in Erupe when he anserwed the complaint. I was never going to answer it because of Peronal jurisdiction. now they say they got me on personal jurisdiction.. because that was answered but not by me...


 


the plaintiffs attorney sent all motions of hearing and stuff to wrong address.. so I found out about the default judjement when it was too late... they played tricks on me.. I tried to defend it .. hired a florida attorney ... after the default judgment was entered.. to try and fight it.. I sent him $2500 to vacate judgement the attorney quite. after the first hearing.. I got scamed again.. had a flat fee agreement.. then quits..


 


Im very frustrated...

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
I don't believe the plaintiff being in Florida on vacation would have any effect on the jurisdictional issue. Your hiring an attorney in Florida to try to set aside judgment, may have subjected you to Florida jurisdiction, dependent upon whether the attorney appeared "specially" and for the sole purpose of challenging jurisdiction. If he/she did, then you would not have waived your right to try to quash any collection effort made in California. If not, then you could be stuck with a bad judgment, though you may be able to get it set aside by hiring another (yes, I know, BS), attorney in Florida to move to set aside the default.

Re the first lawyer, you can complain to the Florida State Bar, and you could sue the attorney for malpractice -- all of which costs "mo money." But, all I can do is tell you what you can and can't do. I can't make it inexpensive.

The first thing to do is check the court file in Florida and see if the attorney made a "special appearance" to challenge jurisdiction. That way, you can figure out if you may be able to quash any attempt to collect against you in California -- which could save you a lot of dough.

For customer service purposes, please let me know if my answer is helpful. Thanks in advance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


my attorney ( the one that quite for no reason only is I neeed more money ) appeared and filed a motion to vacate Default judgment. that's all he did... did not make special appearance for jurisdiction issues.. he said first we must fight default judgment for reasons of sending motions and hearings to wrong address... after obtaining a a vacate default judgment ... we wre going to fight jurisdiction issues... never got to that point...


 


Can I fight it in California with a lawsuite against them.. Plaintiff for fribilouse lawsuit..


 


and or fight them just with a jurisdiction issues to stop collection in California..


 


most important question.... What would you do... ? please help..


im willing to pay you more.. $$ for your opinions ... thanks

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Crap (excuse my french)! The attorney has subjected you to Florida jurisdiction. You would have to fight it in Florida -- there is no way out, now.

As I said, you can sue the attorney for malpractice, for failing to appear to challenge personal jurisdiction -- but, that's a totally different issue -- and you would have to sue the attorney in Florida.

On the judgment, itself, you would have to hire another attorney and see if there's anyway to bring a second motion to set aside the default. If it's less than 30 days since the entry of the default, then you can appeal (and if you can, then you may have to do so).

Other options would be a bankruptcy filing. I don't know whether or not this deal was between you and the buyer, personally, or just your business, and whether or not you have a separate business entity (LLC, Corporation, etc.), where you could close the doors and thereby avoid payment -- transfer the assets to a new business, etc.

If you can, then you may be able to make collection so costly that the cost of collection may exceed the value of the debt.

You're welcome to provide more info about your circumstances, but at this point, I'd appreciate a positive rating for my original answer, so that I can receive appropriate compensation for my efforts.

Thanks in advance!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


yeah bankruptcy is a way out.. but I don't want to file.. just yet..


 


but can I if I hire a California attorney figth the case once it gets to domestication sister state judgment. ? or is that too late...


 


I don't think I can do anything in florida any more.. Judgement entered was November 2011.. about year and a half ago..


 


the plaintiff attorney is still doing motions in Florida.. has made 3 motions in the past year. the last one was 2 months ago.. I don't know why..


 


Im sure its gona get here in California soon.. Can I fight it in California.. or is it too late.. ? if so how can I fight it...


 


 

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
If you would like to discuss this further, a show of good faith would be appreciated.
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33795
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for your contribution to the cause.

 

You've submitted to jurisdiction in Florida, by hiring an attorney to appear in court for a reason other than to challenge personal jurisdiction. Even if you didn't mean to do this, the attorney's appearance binds you to the jurisdiction.

 

You will not be able to resist registration of the judgment in California. And, if it's too late to appeal in Florida, then your only recourse (other than bankruptcy) would be to sue the Florida attorney for malpractice.

 

And, the statute of limitations for that is two years -- so your time is running out fast.

 

Once again, if this deal was between the plaintiff and a separate legal entity (e.g., LLC, Corporation), and not with you personally, then you may be able to just shutter the doors on the current business and start a new business -- thereby making collection effectively impossible. You would not even have to file for bankruptcy with the LLC/Inc. You just finish your existing business and meanwhile start doing business under a new LLC/Inc. The plaintiff won't be able to get any assests beyond whatever remains in the old LLC/Inc. And, if you're paying yourself a salary to manage the business, you can extract most of the assets as payroll, and leave the LLC/Inc. an empty shell.

 

But, if the deal was between you personally and the plaintiff, then you could have a lot of difficulties unless most of your assets are exempt -- and the cheapest way out may be to try to settle for a lesser amount and put the matter behind you as fast as possible.

 

Hope this helps.

 

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