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TexLaw
TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I have a very important question that no attorney or person

This answer was rated:

I have a very important question that no attorney or person can figure out - it's very simple, yet very complex for some reason

I had a personal injury accident. One of the defendants resides in my state California. The other defendant resides in Florida.

Do I sue in Federal or State court?? Getting mixed advice from different attorneys.

50% of my lawyer friends say Federal because you can't sue an out of state defendant in State; the other 50% say State because I can't sue the same defendant of the same state in federal!!!

Any help would be a huge blessing. God bless you! Anyone who can answer this, I pray God will give you a HUGE BLESSING this year! ("A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25
You would sue in Federal Court unless you can prove that California state courts have jurisdiction over the Defendant who lives in Florida. The Federal Court will have jurisdiction if there is one party which is out of state (i.e., diversity jurisdiction). It doesn't matter that one defendant is in state court. However, it would be better to sue in state court.

For the state courts to have jurisdiction over him, you would need to establish that there are "sufficient minimum contacts" with California to justify the exertion of jurisdiction.

Why was the Defendant in California at the time of your injury?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Great answer - thanks so much!!


 


Yes, the defendant is an automobile service that has branches all over California. But their headquarters is in Florida. The tow truck company, that stole and damaged my vehicle and left my wife and I stranded for 12 hours, is based in California.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi again, the defendant is an automobile service that has branches all over California. But their headquarters is in Florida. The tow truck company, that stole and damaged my vehicle and left my wife and I stranded for 12 hours, is based in California.


 


So because the company, based in Florida, has a ton of contacts in CA, I could sue them in state court?


 


Just wanted your thoughts - sorry I wasn't clear with last question.

Hi,

Sorry for the delay in response.

Yes, if they are a company headquartered in Florida but with business locations inside California, this is a perfect example of the necessary minimum contacts that would justify California state court jurisdiction.

I imagine the company is either operating as a foreign incorporation in California, or has a California subsidiary that they are operating through. You need to contact the California Secretary of State in order to make this determination.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
ZDN
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