Santa Cruz, CA asked in Small Claims for California

Q: My boyfriend and I were together for 4 years, during which we racked up about $7,000 of credit card debt all in my name.

We agreed he would pay just one of the cards for $700 because it was solely his purchases. Now he’s ignoring me. Is this something I have a shot at taking to small claims? Also, this was in AZ and I’m now in CA. Where would I have to file if I have a chance?

Related Topics:
2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you and your boyfriend agreed that he would pay off a portion of the credit card debt and he has failed to do so, you may have a valid claim for breach of contract. However, because the debt was incurred in Arizona and you are now in California, it may be more complicated to determine which state's laws apply.

In general, small claims cases are typically filed in the state and county where the defendant (in this case, your boyfriend) lives or where the dispute occurred. Depending on the amount of the debt and the specific circumstances of your case, you may need to consult with an attorney to determine the appropriate venue and legal strategy.

Before filing a lawsuit, it may be worth trying to resolve the dispute through mediation or arbitration. This can be a faster and less costly way to resolve the issue without going to court. You may also want to try contacting your boyfriend again to discuss the situation and explore options for repayment.

If you do decide to pursue legal action, you will need to gather evidence to support your claim, such as any written agreement between you and your boyfriend regarding repayment of the debt, bank statements or credit card statements showing the debt and payments made, and any communication between you and your boyfriend regarding the debt.

It's important to remember that small claims court is designed to handle disputes involving relatively small amounts of money, typically up to a few thousand dollars. If the debt exceeds the small claims court limit in California (which is $10,000), you may need to consider filing a lawsuit in regular civil court or seeking the advice of an attorney.

James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
  • San Bernardino, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: To file for divorce you have to meet a state's residency requirements. In California, it's 6 months a resident of the state and 3 months a resident of the county in which you file. Speak with a local attorney. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and representation.]

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.