I often see freelancers suggesting to other freelancers to use the small claim courts to get paid when the client is in another country. Already with the small claim court, there's a maximum amount allowed so I'm not talking about $10,000USD but amounts like $500-3000 USD.
I know this greatly depends on a lot of factors but to my knowledge small claims court cannot be used to sue someone who is not physically in the country/jurisdiction where the case will be held. I read all sort of things on some Stacks here which I think are wrong such as "get someone to represent you in the small claim court" for this kind of situation (overseas contract of small value).
From what I understand from my research, a case can be heard in civil court if represented by an attorney, but prosecution and collection can be so costly and risky that it's not considered worthwhile on small debts below $10,000.
If you need an example of countries, let's say 2 very different countries like Pakistan and USA.
So my question is:
Can a freelancer who works for a client overseas use sue for payment in small claims court, with or without representation? Or can representation in court be made only through an attorney?
Does the answer change if the 2 countries are part of the EU?