You do not live in Texas but are being sued by a company or individual in the state. Will you have to go to court there?
Nobody wants to get sued. Dealing with the court system can be a real pain. Who has time for that?
The process can be especially frustrating if you don't even live in the state in which you are being sued. For example, you may live in California and are being sued in Texas. Maybe you have been served with a lawsuit or have been contacted by police. What happens next? Will you have to appear in Texas court? Read on to learn about the process.
Jurisdiction in Texas
Texas courts can only handle cases that fall under Texas jurisdiction. What this means is that if you live in Texas, own property in Texas, or do business in Texas, then the court legally has personal jurisdiction over you. If none of these conditions apply, then you are not obligated to respond to a lawsuit filed in a Texas court.
I Don’t Live in Texas: How Can I be Sued?
If you do not live in Texas, then you may wonder how you can be sued. This has to do with the state’s long arm statute, which allows non-Texas businesses and residents to be sued under certain circumstances. A person can also be sued over real estate issues. If you are doing business in Texas, then you can be sued. Keep in mind that “doing business” is a broad term that has multiple meanings, such as:
- Using the mail or other means of communication to contract with a party in Texas
- Committing a tort in Texas
- Recruiting people from Texas for employment
- Using the internet to conduct business with a company located in Texas
A tort can be a civil wrong or a criminal offense. This may include assault, battery, emotional distress, defamation, and other forms of negligence.
Alternative Ways of Attending Court in TX
If you do not live in Texas, you should not simply refuse to go to court, as that usually will not work in your favor. The judge will likely side with the other party. So, if you absolutely must attend court, the good news is that a physical appearance may not be your only option.
Instead, ask to attend via telephone. These requests are granted on a limited basis, but if distance is an issue (which is the case if you don’t even live in Texas), then you likely have a good excuse to attend via phone. Check with the county clerk or court coordinator to discuss your situation and understand your options.
Contact Our Travis County Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
There are ways for you to be sued in Texas, even if you do not live there. This can be a frustrating situation, though, so seek legal help to understand your options.
The Travis County criminal defense lawyers at Granger and Mueller PC can assist you with jurisdiction issues or find other ways for you to attend court, such as via telephone. To schedule a consultation with our office, fill out the online form or call (512) 474-9999.