Court Costs and Fees for Calhoun County Small Claims Court
Costs for filing a small claims court case in Calhoun 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 Calhoun County Clerk Court to inquire about the specific amount of the filing fee for your case.
Filing a Small Claims Court Case in Calhoun County Small Claims Court
The plaintiff needs to obtain and complete a Statement of Claim form which is found at the Calhoun County Small Claims Court Clerk’s office. You should type or print your claim on the form using a pen to make sure it’s legible to the defendant as well as the court.
Location for Small Claims Courthouse in Calhoun County
Small claims court cases can be filed at the Calhoun County Courthouse which is located at: 20859 Central Avenue E. Blountstown, FL 32424 The phone number for the courthouse is: 850-674-4545.
How to Effect Service on a Defendant in Calhoun County Small Claims Court
Once a case is filed, the case cannot proceed until the Defendant has been served. The plaintiff needs to know the full names of all the individuals you are suing. You also need to a good address of where that person can be served. If you are suing a business, you need to ascertain whether the business is incorporated or not. If a corporation is being sued, you must have the full name of the corporation and the name and address of a corporate officer or registered agent for the business. This information can be learned from the Department of State, Department of Corporations website for Florida which can be found online at http://www.sunbiz.org or by telephone at 850-245-6052. The plaintiff also needs to research whether a business is utilizing a fictitious business name. The fictitious name information can be obtained through the Department of State, Division of Corporations as well.
Who May File a Calhoun County Small Claims Court Case?
A person can file a small claims court case in Florida if any of the following apply:
- You are 18 years or older
- Parents or Guardians can file on behalf of a minor
- A corporate officer on behalf of the corporation (requires written authorization)
Types of Cases Not Handled in Calhoun County Small Claims Court
Calhoun County Small Claims Court handles all types of cases except:
- mortgage payments
- traffic fines
What Jurisdiction does the Calhoun County Small Claims Court Have?
In Florida, you can only file a small claims court action in the county where the Defendant lives, where the situation giving rise to the action occurred, or where the property involved is situated. If none of the above apply, then jurisdiction is not property in Calhoun County and the court will not be able to hear your case. This may open a judgment you obtain to attack when you try to collect it. A claim of up to $5,000.00, not including costs, interest, and attorneys fees, can be filed in small claims court in Calhoun County. This is authorized under Rule 7.010 of the Florida Rules of Court and Chapter 34 of the Florida Statutes.
Can I have a jury in my Calhoun County Small Claims Court Case?
Jury trials are available in small claims court cases in Florida. However, most small claims court cases are heard by a judge. The plaintiff or defendant can both make a request for a jury trial. Pursuant to Small Claims Court Rule 7.150, the plaintiff can file a written demand for a jury trial when filing the suit, and a defendant can request a jury trial either within five days of being served notice of the action or at the pre-trial conference. If either of these do not occur, then the case will be tried in front of a judge.
How to Prepare to File a Small Claims Court Case in Calhoun County
Before you file a small claims court action in Calhoun 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. There is a chance your issue can be resolved prior to filing your claim. Sending this initial communicaiton will be the simplest and most efficient way of resolving your case.
Rules Governing Small Claims Court Cases in Calhoun County
All small claims court cases in Florida are governed by the Florida Small Claims Rules.
Calhoun County Small Claims Court Pre-Trial Conference
The pre-trial conference is used for the court to attempt to see if your case can be resolved without a trial. This is usually done with an informal settlement conference or mediation. If the case cannot be settled, the court will set it for trial. It is important for the plaintiff to ensure that the Defendant (and all of them) have been served prior to the pre-trial conference, or the court will cancel the pre-trial conference date. Appearance at the pre-trial conference is mandatory. Whoever appears must have full authority to settle the case otherwise costs and attorney fees incurred by the opposing party may be imposed. A corporation can be represented by any officer of the corporation or an employee that is so designated by an officer of that corporation. The court may set different dates if there are multiple defendants to a single case. If this occurs, the plaintiff is still requires to attend all the different pre-trial conference dates.