Now Serving: CA, OR, TX, AZ, WA, NV
            Small Claims Made Easy!
What do I mean by this.  Let's suppose you buy a $1,000 antique from an individual in Kentucky.  After receiving the item you realize that the antique is a fake or it was damaged when you received it.   The seller refuses to admit that the item is a fake. Further, the seller could care less that your antique is damaged.  You ask for your money back and the seller will not return any of your letters or emails.  At this point, you want to sue the seller in Small Claims court.  You run a property deeds report and find that the seller owns her home.  You're envisioning a Process Server knockig on her door and serving her.  Oh Yeah! Surely the seller will call me and make arrangements to send my $1,000 back.   Not so fast. 
The California Small Claims court does not allow Service of Process out of the state.  There are two exceptions.    One, if you have to sue a landlord who lives of state.  The other exception is in the case of an automobile accident, where the Defendant (while visiting California and involved in an accident)  lives out of state. 
What do you do?  You could hire an Attorney and utilize the upper court.  This court allows you to serve a Defendant anywhere.  Oh, you're right, this is way too costly.  Your other choice is to sue the Defendant in his/her home state of Kentucky.  However, you'll have to pack up the family and take a mini-vacation to Kentucky if a hearing is scheduled.
What's the point here.  When buying anything online, buy California!  Websites, such as Ebay, allow the buyer to search for sellers in specific geographical areas.
Buy California!