In Florida, people use small claims court to settle minor legal disputes concerning $5,000 or less. However, that amount doesn’t include attorney’s fees or filing fees. Small claims filing fee can vary, but the FL Clerks website puts them anywhere from $55-$300. You don’t need an attorney in small claims court, but you can have one. You should file the”Statement of Claim” form in the county where the incident took place. You’ll need to have the legal names and addresses of everyone involved with the case.
If you are suing a business, you’ll need to contact the Florida Division of Corporations. Next, parties to a case are “served” a summons. You may use a process server, law enforcement or certified mail for this, and costs may vary.
Small claims cases go directly to mediation, and if you are unable to reach a mutual decision, you will go to a judge. The Duval County Clerk of Court website says: “Mediation is a process whereby an impartial and neutral third person called a mediator acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute between two or more parties, without prescribing what the resolution should be.”
Usually, County Civil and Small Claims hearings happen at the county courthouse. The Florida Courts website has step-by-step instructions on how to file a claim, as well as educational videos. After the case, collecting on the judgement is sometimes the hardest part.
Boyer Law Firm, P.L. encourages anyone seeking to file a claim to consult an attorney. We typically do not accept small claims cases. The information in this blog is applicable to FLORIDA LAW ONLY.