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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33554
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I am an Indiana resident, living in Madison County. I

Customer Question

I am an Indiana resident, living in Madison County. I recently stayed in a Bed/Breakfast place in Washington DC, that charged me for 5 night stay, when I only stayed 1 night. I would like to take them to Small Claims, but I am not sure if my County has jurisdiction.
The transaction (making reservations) was made using the Internet ( website.
I guess my question is how can I take them to Small Claims, when I am in Indiana and they are in DC.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.

You have to check the terms of service of the website. Almost all of them have specific sections that state where any lawsuits have to be filed. They are usually called "choice of law" sections in the agreement if it has them marked.

Other than that it is possible that you could have jurisdiction where you are located since you made the deal there, etc. However, usually the terms of service require a specific jurisdiction and venue.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
I asked them to close the other question and refund the money so you wouldn't be charged twice. We can address that question here.
I thought you were talking about suing, not the hotel.
No, you wouldn't be able to sue the hotel where you are located. Since you stayed in Washington and the hotel is located there, then Washington would be where you had to sue them. You could argue that the booking was made where you are located through the computer but I don't know of any judge that would grant jurisdiction and venue on that fact.