Citrus County Small Claims Court Costs and Fees
The costs for filing a Small Claims case in Citrus County include the filing fee, which is based on the amount of your claim, as well as a service fee for summoning each party to court. If a final judgment is entered in your favor, these costs can be added to the total amount of your judgment. Contact the Citrus County Court Clerk for the specific amount of the filing fee for your specific case.
Types of Cases Not Handled in Citrus County Small Claims Court
Citrus County Small Claims Court handles all types of cases except:
- alimony payments
- mortgage payments
- traffic fines
Filing a Small Claims Court Case in Citrus County Small Claims Court
The party filing the case needs to complete a Statement of Claim form (which can be obtained from the Citrus Court Clerk’s Office). The form should be typed or printed with a pen to ensure it is legible.
Who is Able to File a Case in Citrus County Small Claims Court?
A person can file a small claims court case in Florida if any of the following apply:
- A person 18 years of age or older
- A parent or guardian on behalf of anyone under 18
- For corporations, an officer may file on behalf of the corporation provided there is written authorization
Location for Small Claims Courthouse in Citrus County
Small claims court cases can be filed at the Citrus County Courthouse which is located at: 110 N. Apopka Avenue Inverness, FL 34450 The phone number for the courthouse is: 352-341-6414.
Pre-Trial Conferences for Citrus County Small Claims Court Cases
A pre-trial conference is an attempt to resolve or settle the case through a Mediation Agreement. If the case cannot be settled, the court will set it for trial. You need to make sure the Defendant has been served prior to the pre-trial conference or it will be cancelled by the court. Appearance at the pre-trial conference is 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. The court may set different dates if there are multiple defendants to a single case. But, the plaintiff is still required to attend every pre-trial conference.
Filing a Small Claims Court Case in Citrus County
In Florida, a small claims court case can only be filed in the county where the incident giving rise to the claim occurred, the property involved in the case sits, or where the Defendant lives. If none of the above apply, then jurisdiction is not property in Citrus 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. Small Claims court cases in Citrus County can hear cases concerning claims up to $5,000.00 (with costs, attorneys fees and interests added on top of that). Rule 7.010 of the Florida rules of Court and Chapter 34 of the Florida Statutes is what authorizes the claim limit for small claims court cases.
Service of Defendant in a Citrus County Small Claims Case
After the filing a case, the Defendant needs to be served (the court cannot move forward with the case until service of all Defendants has been completed). 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. If the plaintiff is suing a business, you need to determine whether the business has 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. You also need to learn if the business is operating under a ficitious name. The Florida Department of Corporations can be used to research this as well.
Preparing to File a Citrus County Small Claims Court Case
Prior to filing a Citrus County Small Claims Court case, you should try and discuss with the opposing party about what is actually being contested. The best way to do this is to send a letter which clearly states your complaint. This may resolve your issue before you even have to file a case. This will be the quickest and easiest way to resolve your dispute.
Rules Governing Small Claims Court Cases in Citrus County
Small Claims court cases in Citrus County are governed by the Florida Small Claims Rules.
Can I have a jury in my Citrus 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 neither of these occur, the case will be tried to a judge.