What Civil Code Can I Cite in Order to Win My Appeal?

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I successfully sued a defendant in LA County Superior Court, small claims, regarding a default on a promissory note that the defendant had signed while living in Long Beach, CA. I moved this judgment to the civil court in the state county where the defendant now resides and won a judgment there as well. It took over 2 years and about $1700 in attorney fee and court costs to collect on this judgment. A provision within this promissory note stated that the signee is responsible for all reasonable attorney fees and collection costs in the event of default. As such, I took the defendant to small claims for these fees and costs, but at different LA County Superior Court location (the LA County Superior Court in Long Beach no longer hears small claims cases). The case was dismissed since the defendant was served out-of-state and this serving did not fall within Civil Code 116.340. I want to appeal this decision, especially since the precedence to serve the defendant out-of-state had already been set by my first case. What grounds can I claim or what civil code can I cite in order to win my appeal?

You can research civil procedure codes regarding service of process and/or related case law to establish some type of legal grounds to file your case under if applicable. It may be in your best interest to consult with a civil law attorney and obtain legal advice about your possible options with filing an appeal.