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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3617
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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In a potential civil case in FL where the defendant resides

Customer Question

In a potential civil case in FL where the defendant resides in another state, and where the damages qualify for either Federal or State Court, are there any particular benefits or disadvantages of one court over the other, and would a judgment be easier or more effective to enforce if attained in Federal Court?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 year ago.

TexLawyer :

Good morning. I'll be assisting you with your question.

TexLawyer :

What type of lawsuit is this?

Customer:

Sorry for delay. Good morning.

Customer:

Would be a claim for Civil Theft.

Customer:

It is outside the four year window, so the torts that would apply are gone.

TexLawyer :

The typical advantage of state court over federal court is ease of use. Federal court is much more procedure driven, and cases tend to take much longer to litigate.

TexLawyer :

As far as executing on the judgment, state court remedies allow a person to execute on assets out of state, just as federal court does. The procedure is different, but the result is largely the same.

Customer:

So there is no mitigating of authority between state orders and Federal?

TexLawyer :

What do you mean by "mitigating of authority?"

Customer:

State court order having less power to enforce.

Customer:

Is there any reason to use Federal, if the jurisdiction can be held to State? (Under $75,000)

TexLawyer :

No. In state court, you can get an order to domesticate an out of state judgment in another state. At that point, the out of state judgment has equal force to an in-state judgment, and you can execute on whatever assets there are in that state.

TexLawyer :

Again, the procedure in state and federal court is somewhat different, but the result should be the same.

TexLawyer :

Most plaintiffs tend to want to be in state court, since it is easier to navigate and tends to move much quicker. Also, it is generally cheaper to litigate in state court rather than federal court.

Customer:

Federal judges like to move things along quickly on the times to respond and getting past limine, where FL state courts are more lax about this, not being as strict in dictating the time to respond for each step. But as I was setting up my question I see you answered me just now. Thanks. State it is.

Customer:

One last question, as long as the basic claim is under $75,000, the Defense could not get the State filed case moved into Federal Court, even if "treble" damages qualify on the basic claim, is that correct?

Customer:

Say, $74,500..?

TexLawyer :

Assuming there is not a "federal question," then, yes, if the claim is less than $75,000, then it cannot be removed to federal court.

TexLawyer :

For a federal court to have subject matter jurisdiction, the claims in the case must either: (1) raise a Federal Question (i.e., a cause of action or defense arising under the Constitution, a Federal statute, or the law of admiralty); or have diversity of parties (i.e., all of the defendants are from a different state than the Plaintiff), and have an amount in controversy that exceeds a monetary threshold (which changes from time to time, but is $75,000 as of 2011). See (28 USC 1331 and 1332).

Customer:

It is breach of an oral agreement to return property that was loaned for work that was never done. Originally made over the phone, then reiterated in person in Florida when the out of town party visited. Does that sound like a Federal issue, or does an Oral Agreement have less standing?

Customer:

The only defendant is from a different state.

Customer:

But the damages would be under $75,000.

Customer:

I think your observation required that BOTH the out of state defendant AND the damages being $75,000 or over was required. Yes?

TexLawyer :

Yes. If it is just diversity jurisdiction, there still must be an amount in controversy over $75,000.

Customer:

I appreciate your time and patience with me in a "chat," I know you're likely dealing with several windows of questions. If you have an addendum to the thoughts, I'll check back after rating. Thanks again. (Michael)

Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3617
Experience: Experienced in both state and federal court.
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