Bradford County Small Claims Court, Florida


What Types of Cases are Not Handled in Bradford County Small Claims Court?

Small Claims Court does not handle cases involving the following:

  • alimony
  • mortgage
  • traffic fines

Serving a Defendant in Bradford County Small Claims Court Cases

Once a case is filed, the case cannot proceed until the Defendant has been served. It is very important that you have the full name of the individual you want to sue. The plaintiff also needs a good address of where those individuals can be served. In order to sue a business, you must determine whether the business is incorporated. If the business has incorporated, the plaintiff needs to ascertain the full name of the corporation and the name and address of a corporate officer or registered agent. The plaintiff can search for this information on the Florida Department of State, Department of Corporation websites at http://www.sunbiz.org or by phone at 850-245-6052. If a business has a fictitious name, you will need to obtain that as well. The Florida Department of Corporations can be used to research this as well.

Bradford County Small Claims Court Pre-Trial Conference

A pre-trial conference is an attempt to resolve or settle the case through a Mediation Agreement. If the pre-trial conference is not successful in resolving your case, the court will set it for trial. The plaintiff needs to serve the Defendant before the pre-trial conference or the court will take the pre-trial conference off calendar. Appearances at pre-trial conferences by both plaintiff and defendant are mandatory. Persons representing parties must have full settlement authority otherwise the court may impose court costs and attorney fees on the party failing to comply with this rule. At a pre-trial conference, a corporation can be represented by an officer of an employee if the employee has been designated by an officer. Depending on how many defendants are involved in a case and when each defendant was served, the court may schedule different dates for pre-trial conferences on the same case. The plaintiff is still required to attend all of these pre-trial conferences.

Bradford County Small Claims Court Jurisdiction

In Florida, small claims court actions can only be filed in the county where the Defendant lives, where the incident giving rise to the action occurred, or where the property involved is located. If none of the above apply, then jurisdiction is not property in Bradford County and the court will not be able to hear your case. If the court does not have jurisdiction, this would allow the judgment you obtain to be attacked by the defendant afterwards when you begin to collect it. Small Claims court cases in Bradford County can hear cases concerning claims up to $5,000.00 (with costs, attorneys fees and interests added on top of that). This is authorized under Rule 7.010 of the Florida Rules of Court and Chapter 34 of the Florida Statutes.

Location for Small Claims Courthouse in Bradford County

Small Claims cases can be filed at the Bradford County Courthouse which is located at: 945 N. Temple Avenue Starke, FL 32091 The phone number for the Bradford County Court is: 904-966-6280.

Rules Governing Small Claims Court Cases in Bradford County

All small claims court cases in Florida are governed by the Florida Small Claims Rules.

Who is Able to File a Case in Bradford County Small Claims Court?

A person can file a small claims court case in Florida if any of the following apply:

  • You are 18 years or older
  • You are the parent or guardian of a minor and are filing on their behalf
  • A corporate officer on behalf of the corporation (requires written authorization)

Preparing to File a Bradford County Small Claims Court Case

Bradford County Small Claims Court

Bradford County Small Claims Court

Before you file a small claims court action in Bradford County, you should communicate with the other party about what is exactly in dispute. The easiest way for this is to draft and deliver a letter to the other party which succintly details your complaint. You may be able to resolve your case without going to court. Sending this initial communicaiton will be the simplest and most efficient way of resolving your case.

How do I file a small claims court case in Bradford County?

The party filing the case needs to complete a Statement of Claim form (which can be obtained from the Bradford Court Clerk’s Office). The form should be typed or printed with a pen to ensure it is legible.

Bradford County Small Claims Court Costs and Fees

Costs for filing a small claims court case in Bradford County consist of the filing fee (which is based on the amount of money you are seeking in your claim) and a service fee for bringing each defendant to court. If a final judgment is entered in your favor, these costs can be added to the total amount of your judgment. You should contact the Bradford County Clerk Court to inquire about the specific amount of the filing fee for your case.

Are Jury Trials available in Bradford County Small Claims Court Cases?

Jury trials are available in small claims court cases in Florida. Even though a jury trial is available, the large majority of small claims court cases are heard in front of a judge. The plaintiff or defendant can both make a request for a jury trial. Small Claims Court Rule 7.150 allows for a jury trial upon written demand of the plaintiff (when the suit is filed) or defendant within five days after being served with notice of the suit or at the pre-trial conference. If either of these do not occur, then the case will be tried in front of a judge.