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Small claims from OH to KY

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A

axinar

Guest
I am an Ohio resident. Several months ago I loaned a friend from KY a decent amount of money to buy a used car, primarily so that she would not lose her job.

Being somewhat new to this being a creditor thing, I did not file for a lien on the car because I was unsure if this could produce a potential liability for me if she were to get in an accident or anything of the sort.

We did, however, write up a formal note and had it notarized. She was agreeing to pay on the equivalent basis of a 5 year installment loan @ 6%.

She made two payments but is now refusing to return phone calls.

She owns a house in KY, also still has the car so far as I know, and is currently still employed (in OH).

The amount of the loan is just within the limits of small claims for my county here in Ohio.

However, would I be more likely to be able to obtain a judgment by suing her in her home county in KY?

Thanks!
 


djohnson

Senior Member
I would think filing in her own state would be the appropriate thing to do. If you do get any kind of judgement you would need to inforce it in that state and from what I understand the purchase took place there.
 
A

axinar

Guest
Okay, this is what I thought ...

Actually the note was signed in Ohio and notarized by an Ohio notary. The note is written with language refering to "Ohio law".

However, from other information I have been able to gather, the fact that she is a Kentucky resident may make it easier to enforce any sort of judgment.

Thanks!
 

JETX

Senior Member
Sorry, but 'djohnson' is wrong again!!

Since the note include a 'jurisdiction statement' that Ohio law governs, you need to file the lawsuit in the Ohio court system. (After all, the Kentucky court has no jurisdiction to apply OH laws.) Then, serve her with notice of the lawsuit at her employer (in Ohio) or at home (in KY).

And since we assume that any non-exempt assets that she might have would be located in Kentucky, you will have to 'domesticate' the OH judgment to the courts in KY in order to enforce the judgment there.
 
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djohnson

Senior Member
I will agree considering the information added in your second post. This information however was not in the first and answered based on the information given. If all the transactions took place in Ky then I would file there.

And Halket as I have not been wrong yet only disagree with one of your posts due to how situations are handled differently at different places could say you have also been wrong before. Making that statement considering at the time the information given was in bad taste.
 
G

GA Gen Prac Law

Guest
Halket this is not correct.

First of al Djohnson is correct, mention of the law governing the K did not come until later. However you are wrong with 2 statements.


"'jurisdiction statement' that Ohio law governs"

"(After all, the Kentucky court has no jurisdiction to apply OH laws.) "

Stating that OH law applies is NOT a jurisdiction, but choice of law provision.

Under choice of Law rules many states actually interpret other states laws and apply them as they would have been decided under that states law. Just because OH law governs the K, does not mean that jurisdiction is proper in OH.

That said, the reason that she can still probably sue in Ohio because most states have enacted 'long arm' statute that allow for jurisdiction if there is some kind of significant contact with that home state. If your friend called you in OH, drafted the K with OH rules, and you mailed the check (and/or hand delivered it) in OH you might be able to get it in. You might want to consult someone else on the specifics of Long Arm jurisdiction because many states have many different ways of applying long arm statutes.

However, if you delivered the check to your friend in KY. Your friend never contacted you in OH. Never came to get the check. THey may be able to say that jurisdiction is improper in OH even if OH law applies to the k.

Either way since OH and Ky are so close, and I am guessing that you live near the border and so does your friend (an assumption I know) I would just file in KY because they have no jurisdictional arguments about being sued in their own state, and going through the whole process of fighting jurisdiction if they raise it can be expensive and time consuming.


Edit:

Actually I just reread the original post and since she still works and has a car in OH, she probably has significant enough contact with OH to create personal jurisdiction. I'd serve her personally anyway just to make sure at her job in OH to make things tidier.
 
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JETX

Senior Member
GA: I agree with you that there is a strong probability that this could be argued in KY courts. And IF our writer were an attorney and experienced in the ability to argue same, might have posted the response you did. However, 99.9% of the writers to this forum have ZIP in the way of legal experience. Accordingly, I don't think the 'long arm' statutes would be the proper approach by this writer.

Further, a review of the REALITIES of the courts will clearly show that the Ohio court is the only court to use. The writer has already noted that the claim is "just within the limits of small claims for my county here in Ohio". If you had looked at the court limits, you would have seen that the suit exceeds the KY court limit.

Ohio Small Claims Court limit: $3000
-SOL: Good for 21 years and renew every 5 yrs
-Wage Garnishment Exemptions: 75% of disposable earnings per week, or an amount = to 30 x federal minimum hourly wage, whichever is greater.
-Judgment Interest: 10% annual

KY Small Claims Court limit: $1500
-SOL: 15 years
-Wage Garnishment Exemptions: 75% of disposable income or 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage (whichever is greater)
-Judgment Interest: 12% annual

In addition to the amount limit, there is another HUGE reason for the case to be filed in Ohio. That being wage garnishment. If the debtor works in Ohio (as implied from the post), then the OH judgment could be used to garnish her Ohio wages. A KY judgment could not be used without domestication.

Simply, do as I suggested in my post. File your lawsuit in OH and get the judgment there. Once you have the judgment, you will have the legal benefit of a judgment, which gives you much more leverage in this case then a simple claim. Then, if you are unable to enforce it against her wages, you can still domesticate the higher judgment into Kentucky to go after tangible and/or real property located there.
 
G

GA Gen Prac Law

Guest
Georgia,

This is a good example of why we post our states AND the site recommends you should always contact an attorney who specializes in your states laws an areas to find out where your best chance to bring the case is. I knew nothing of these limits, and the specifcs of the state's rules. Those always are important in making a determination, that another attorney, who is not familiar with the particulars of each states rules.
 

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