Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only
First of all, small claims
court would not be the proper place to sue, because the most you can sue for is $10,000 in small claims court and if he owes you $35,000 you could not recover that much there.
You would have to file an unlimited civil suit against him in Superior Court in CA and you need to use the professional process server to serve him and inform the server he evades service and tell the server where he lives and where he works as well.
Also, if he cannot be served in a superior court case, you can then ask the court for a service by publication where the notice of suit is served in the paper. Then the case can proceed and if he does not respond you can get a default judgment against him and orders to seize his property and bank accounts to satisfy the judgment.
Because this is an unlimited suit in Superior Court, you should use a local attorney and if you cannot afford one you can try legal aid and also your local senior center. You can also seek to file a complaint against him with CA Adult Protection Services, since this can be considered financial abuse of the elderly and they could even pursue criminal charges against him.
Based on the information you provided, these are the options you have available to you.