Can a dealership sue me in small claims court 6 years later in a different state?
I bought a car in 2006 in boston MA, at that time i lived in haverhill MA. I didnt have all the money down so the dealrship worked out a deal to put up the down payment and i would pay it back which i am 99.9% i did but dont have proof. I received a court paper (forwared via the post office from my previous address) saying they are taking me to small claims in haverhill ma but i live in southern nh now and have for the last 7 months. court is scheduled for April 19th. Do statue of limitations fall under the state the issue is in or the state i reside? also does he need to take me to NH court now that i dont live in Ma anymore and especially before he filed?
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If you received a legal notice from the court, rather than the dealership, you are indeed being sued. The issue then is whether the suit is a valid one. An online forum like this cannot legally offer professional legal advice and you should not take advice on something this important from anyone but a lawyer. What I can suggest then is that you might wish to consult a lawyer.
If money is an issue, you might check law schools near you. Many law schools offer free advice from 3rd year law students in various clinics. This benefits the students because they learn how to work with clients and benefits you because you get free advice. Many law firms and charities also offer free legal aid.
The links below discuss various pro bono (free) sources of legal aid.
Where to file a cause of action is Rules specific. Here is a snip from a MA small claims faq's page;
Where do I file a small claims?
You may bring a small claim only in the court for the area where either the plaintiff or the defendant lives or has a place of business or employment. A small claim against a landlord arising from the rental of an apartment may also be brought where the apartment is located. You may find it easier to enforce a decision in your favor if you bring your small claim where the defendant lives or works, but you are not required to do so......
Some states, as a side note, permit a filing where the COA happened, regardless if either party still reside there or not.
This chart states the SOL for an oral AND written contract in MA is 6 years. NH is 3 for both. Since the contract was completed in MA, no doubt it states MA laws apply. If you wish to argue an SOL since you live in NH now, you will need to present to the court why your "choice of law/conflict of law" doctrine, should apply the NH laws.
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