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Local Small Claims Court Won't Accept My Case


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I just went down to my county small claims court to file a lawsuit against a collection agency. I have them on 3 violations of FCRA and FDCPA. However, the court will not accept out of state or even out of county cases. Since the collection agency is in California and Im in Washington State they will not let me file the case. They told me I have to file where the defendant lives (California). This seems ridiculous, I can't afford to go to California for this suit. I also inquired in Superior court and they told me the same thing. I am at a loss. I have this collection agency dead to rights but there is nothing I can do! I showed them the verbage on how the federal law can be enforced throgh any court of competant jurisdiction. They didn't care. They went and asked the Judge and he said NO. What do I do?

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The collection agency put derogs on EX and EQ. I told them that the cause of action (violations of FCRA and FDCPA) occured here. They just kept saying "district court only accepts local cases, both parties must be in the county, the only exception being an auto accident that occured in the county with an out-of-state driver." It seems like they set there own rules. And where would I find Washington state laws pertaining to jurisdiction? Should I attempt to file in the small claims court in the city since this court says that "District court is a court of limited jurisdiction"?

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Some small claims courts can only accept cases where both parties reside in the county. So, the clerk may be correct in not taking your case.

Superior court, you should be able to sue there. You will need to allege that the CA is authorized to do business in your state. If they are a big CA, they probably do. Check with Olympia.

Lastly, you can sue them un federal district court for FDCPA claims. Go to uscourts.gov to find your local district court. Most federal courts have good pro se help.

Or, hire a lawyer.

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Federal filing is right around $150. A little high (unless you live in Oregon, where it's actually cheaper to file in Federal), but you get those fees back at the tail end of the case.

As others said though, put in that cause of action being in your county gives your county jurisdiction. Also get their registered agent info (the CA)...they have to have one in your state, which functions the same as "residing" there.

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