Ask a Lawyer and Get Answers to Your Legal Questions
I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.
What type of case is it? How much are you being sued for? There are different requirements for the different types of courts.
Is it a small claims case?
Small claims only has jurisdiction over New York residents. If you can establish that you set up residency in Hawaii before they filed the lawsuit - and it sounds like you did - then you can move to dismiss the case. It is possible to file by mail, but if the judge sets a hearing, you'd still have to appear in court to dispute the jurisdiction. But they could simply re-file in the higher civil courts, which has a higher filing fee, because those courts have jurisdiction over any cases where the cause of action arose while you were in New York. Then you'd have to fly back to hear that case, and I'm not sure that really benefits you.
The NY courts are closed today for the holiday, but you can try calling tomorrow and asking them to continue the hearing based on the fact that you're pregnant and not able to travel. You could also hire a lawyer who operates in the county where the case was filed, and ask them to appear on your behalf. That might be cheaper than traveling from Hawaii to NY last minute.