Q: I lent $50,000 to a private real estate investor who hasn't paid me back. Can I sue them without a lawyer and what court?
Anybody can sue anyone else without a lawyer. However, lawyers went to law school for 3 years and have been practicing law and know the rules. You may or may not. Since you are asking such a basic question as "where do I sue?" I am not entirely confident in your ability to sue someone on your own. You are going to have to draft a complaint - there are no forms for something like this.
Because of the amount involved you would sue in state court. Because there is a nice chunk of money involved and this person was an investor in real estate and may have real property, I suggest that you get a collection attorney. The attorneys will usually agree to take a piece of any recovery for you if the person has assets (they can do a simple asset search and find out if the investor owns land or other assets). They also can help get a fifa issued and garnish wages or seize assets once a judgment is entered.
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