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Legal Jurisdiction Related Questions

Jurisdiction is the predetermined place in which legal disputes will be handled and settled. In business contracts, jurisdiction is usually determined during the writing of the contract which allows both parties to agree to legal resolutions in the event disputes and where the disputes will be heard before a court. Below are some commonly asked questions about jurisdiction.

If I live in Arizona and want to sue a person who lives in Utah for breach of contract, which state would I sue him in?

You would probably have enough evidence of previous contact with the jurisdiction due to the many transactions that have been conducted with the person, to allow you to sue the person in your state. However, you will still have to collect from the person if you win your case. You may have to hire an attorney that is located in Utah who can oversee the collection from the other person since that person's assets are probably located in Utah. You need to consider this before you decide to sue in Arizona because it may be less expensive to sue the person in Utah.

I have hired a website developer in Canada to produce my website. I am not happy with the work done and want my money back. I don't feel like they delivered what we agreed to in the contract. If I sue, will I have to go to Canada?

Your contract should have something listed about which jurisdiction would apply in regards to any disputes made over the contract. If there are no provisions for disputes, you will probably need to go to Canada if you want to sue for breach of contract. Before you take the developer to court, you need to let them know of your intentions to sue for breach of contract if they cannot comply with the contract and complete the site. Once you send the letter, you need to give the developer proper time to complete the work before you proceed with legal action. In the event that you do take them to court, you will need to go to Canada in order to have personal jurisdiction over the company.

I own a food import company in the US and recently received a bad shipment from an India supplier. I paid partial payment on the shipment but not the entire amount. Can I be sued in India and the US?

If the India supplier is in breach of contract, you can end your contract with them. You will need to review your contract agreement to determine if there is a set place for jurisdiction. If you don't have a jurisdiction clause in the contract that allows India to have legal jurisdiction, the Indian courts will have no personal jurisdiction over you. This means that the India supplier will have to come to the US to get a judgment against you. If the supplier comes to the US and places a judgment, you will then be able to counter sue for breach of contract.

My Corporation was served with a "Deposition Subpoena for Production of Business Records" from the Superior Court of California, County of LA. Our company is located in Santa Clara county of CA. and our county has its own Superior court. Does the L.A. court have jurisdiction over us?

Any court located in California can exercise jurisdiction over a company that is also located within the state, regardless of the location of your county court. This means that any California court would have the jurisdiction to have your records subpoenaed including the LA county Court. Federal Court doesn't cover state law issues because it is a separate entity altogether.

Jurisdiction can play a very important role when signing a contract. Before you sign a contract, be sure to know the legal aspects of its legal jurisdiction by speaking with an Expert.

Ask a Business Lawyer

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