Out-of-state nonpaying deadbeat. Small Claims or some other court?

You are not my attorney, nothing you post here constitutes legal advice, void where prohibited, objects in the mirror are closer than they seem, etc…

I do a fair amount of small-scale contract work and from time to time have to sue someone in small claims court due to nonpayment. Now, for the first time, I am facing the probability of having to deal with an out of state respondent. Will small claims court (in the state of NY, btw, that’s probably relevant here) allow me to sue someone from Utah? If not, is there a venue in which it makes any sense to pursue a debt of less than $500 against an out-of-state respondent, or should I just write it off and cuss a lot?

Personal jurisdiction isn’t tremendously difficult, but it is fact-specific, so no one here can really answer your question well. A first step would be to look at your state’s long arm statute.

Supposing the court takes jurisdiction and you obtain a default judgment, how would you plan to collect that judgment?

Beats heck out out of me.

So far, no one has continued to be uncooperative after small claims court told them to pay up. Most of them pay up at that point instead of going to court, in fact.