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Where should I file Small Claims in this case with online transaction?

Discussion in 'Consumer Law, Contracts, Warranties' started by Steve C, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. Steve C

    Steve C Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    New York
    I currently reside in New York, I have submitted initial payment to online Guarantor company to secure an apartment in the city. Receipt from the company states after application gets rejected for 3 times, they will provide refund immediately for the initial payment that was submitted.

    On Sep 28th, the initial payment was paid. (have documentation)

    On Oct 26th, 3rd application was rejected. (on email)

    On Nov 20th, one of the agents informed the refund was sent via mail. (on email)

    On Nov 20th, the same agent informed the refund was sent via USPS pre-paid label that I provided (on email, I did this to make sure I get to track the refund check)

    On Dec 6th, one of the other agents informed the refund is being processed.

    The reason why I am planning to go through small claims is because (1) simply they do not respond as I have been trying to contact them several times a day. I only get response once in ten days after I started asking for refund (2) now it's very much apparent that they never processed refund and they are not thinking about refunding as well (3) it appears that they either blocked my cell phone number or have noted it since they only pick up the phone when I try a third person's phone (I've been doing that since they started not getting my calls)

    I live in NY and all the applications (services being rendered for the money that I pay) have been submitted in NY apartments. Meanwhile, their office is in California while they provide services all of US since 99% of services rendered can be processed online.

    I have done a small claims in the past but that was within local dispute with local business. But the location of their office raises my question.

    First question, in this case, do I submit the case at Small Claims court in California or New York?

    Second question, if I have to submit this in California, I know I can submit the corresponding documents over mail but if I need to walk in to court, it will incur travel costs. Can I include the estimated travel costs to the total amount being claimed?

    Thank you very much in advance.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Small claims lawsuits across state lines are even less successful than small claims lawsuits within the same state.

    Suing a CA defendant in a NY small claims is a waste of time and money.

    If you sue in CA, it'll cost your two or three large for travel expenses.

    One should only do business with entities one has vetted as reliable.

    Many online businesses are slick scammers.
     
  3. Steve C

    Steve C Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts.

    I am reading from some sources that in certain cases travel expenses could be included then awarded (of course it will depend on the judge) Is there only extremely slim chance of getting awarded for the travel costs?
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I've never seen a small claims judgment receive travel expenses unless the matter is heard on HOT BENCH, JUDGE JUDY, or JUDGE MATHIS.

    Even if expenses are allowed, collecting the judgment occurs in fewer than 3% of all small claims cases.

    Unlike JUDGE JUDY, you don't walk out of small claims with cash or a check.

    All you receive from a small claims court is a fancy piece of legal paper with a pretty seal.
     
  5. Steve C

    Steve C Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Appreciate your inputs. Yes, I am well aware of the fact that small claims court only provides the documentation for me to leverage. I know I do not walk away with cash or check since I have already won 2 small claims at the court where I was able to collect the money shortly afterwards.

    I was trying to check in to see how this case might work since their office is based in California while rendering services in New York.
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Hopefully the matter has been explained to me.
     
  7. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Check with the NY Secretary of State. There should be someone or some entity registered in NY for legal contact with the company you are doing business with.
    You should be able to file in the county where the apartment is and serve the person who is registered as the representative.
     
  8. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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