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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10237
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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I have a "consumer affairs" issue filed with California DMV

Customer Question

I have a "consumer affairs" issue filed with California DMV investigations dept against an Auto Broker...a month after the investigation was started because of the wrong doings noted in the report...the Owner of the Auto Broker company got scared, packed up, and went back to England before I could attempt to recover my $20k...what options do I have to force him back here to resolve this matter?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 8 months ago.
Dear Customer,I am sorry to learn of this situation. While you cannot force an individual to return to the U.S. to defend a civil action, you can still file a civil claim against them.(Short of filing suit, you may also want to see if they have a bond filed - although if you have already filed a complaint with the DMV you may have already investigated this).Filing suit against a foreign defendant is a little bit complicated, you need to serve the individual in that country (if you hope to collect against the individual, you need to sue the individual, not their company, so you must serve the person individually). This requires service of process in the U.K. (hire a solicitor in the U.K. to serve your California civil lawsuit).More likely than not, the defendant will fail to appear and defend the action, so you can get a default judgment (automatically get a judgment for the amount you are seeking).You can then enforce this judgment against the defendant in the U.K. (again this is a little bit complicated, but hiring a solicitor in the U.K. to enforce your California judgment overseas can be done).Of course you can also enforce the California judgment against any assets the defendant may have in the state.Given the fact that you are going to have to file suit in limited civil court (amounts between $10,000 and $25,000), and you are going to have to serve an overseas defendant, you may want to retain a civil litigation attorney to represent you - as you are likely to get a default judgment, this should not require a great deal of legal work (so your litigation costs should be low), but having someone who understands the process is probably going to be in your best interests to move this forward quickly.(But you can do this on your own if you want - you can get forms and helpful information at your county law library, look for a set of books "Rutter Guide to Civil Procedure Before Trial" in particular).