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Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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How do I go about suing someone for $7,000.00 I loaned them?

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How do I go about suing someone for $7,000.00 I loaned them? I have bank statements to prove my transactions.
Hello,

Thank you for your question. The jurisdictional limit (maximum amount you can sue for) for small claims court in Virginia is $5000. That means if you need to sue for more, you will need to hire an attorney to file suit for you in regular district court. Small claims court if a simplified system where people don't need attorneys, but district court you will most definitely need an attorney. If you want to only sue for $5000, you can find out more about the small claims court system by going to: http://www.courts.state.va.us/resources/small_claims_court_procedures.pdf
You can get the forms from your local county court clerk.

All that said, you will need more than just bank statements showing that you gave this person some money. You will also, have to convince the court that you had a meeting of the minds that this was a loan and that they did not pay you back as agreed. Both sides, of course, can present evidence to support their position.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The individual I would like to sue lives in the state of Alabama. If I sue in a small claims court, would the individual have to travel to Virginia?

Hello again--That factor complicates matters since the court may not have jurisdiction over this other party and therefore you might have difficulty suing them in VA. Jurisdiction will be found if the other party is (1) Served in Virginia or (2) Resides in Virginia. Also, defendants with "substantial ties" are subject to general personal jurisdiction (3) Consents by entering general appearance after being served out of State.

So, you will need to consult with a local attorney about this case and give them the details, so that they can assist you in finding a way to get jurisdiction and your money from this other person.
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