Clay County Small Claims Courthouse
Small Claims cases can be filed at the Clay County Courthouse which is located at: 825 N. Orange Avenue Green Cove Springs, FL 32043 The phone number for the Clay County Court is: 904-284-6317.
What Types of Cases are Not Handled in Clay County Small Claims Court?
Clay County Small Claims Court handles all types of cases except:
- traffic fines
Clay County Small Claims Court Rules
Small Claims court cases in Clay County are governed by the Florida Small Claims Rules.
How do I file a small claims court case in Clay County?
The plaintiff needs to obtain and complete a Statement of Claim form which is found at the Clay 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.
Serving a Defendant in Clay County Small Claims Court Cases
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. You also need to a good address of where that person can be served. In order to sue a business, you must determine whether the business is incorporated. If the business you are suing is incorporated, you need to learn the full name of the corporation and the name and address of a corporate officer or registered agent. This information can be obtained through the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations at 850-245-6052 or online at http://www.sunbiz.org. 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 Clay County Small Claims Court Case?
You can file a small claims court case if you are one of the following:
- A person 18 years of age or older
- You are the parent or guardian of a minor and are filing on their behalf
- You are filing or acting on behalf of a corporation as an officer with prior written authorization
Pre-Trial Conferences for Clay County Small Claims Court Cases
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, it will be set for trial on the judge’s trial docket. The plaintiff needs to serve the Defendant before the pre-trial conference or the court will take the pre-trial conference off calendar. Pre-trial conference appearances 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. A corporation can be represented by any officer of the corporation or an employee that is so designated by an officer of that corporation. Multiple defendants may have pre-trial conferences set on different dates. But, the plaintiff is still required to attend every pre-trial conference.
Before Filing your Clay County Small Claims Court Case
Before you file a small claims court action in Clay County, you should communicate with the other party about what is exactly in dispute. 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.
Court Costs and Fees for Clay County Small Claims Court
Costs for filing a small claims court case in Clay 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 party obtains a judgment in its favor, these court costs can be added into the total amount of the judgment. A person interested in filing a small claims court case should contact the Clay County Clerk Court to ask about the fee for your specific case.
Are Jury Trials available in Clay County Small Claims Court Cases?
A jury trial is available in a small claims court case in Florida. A large majority of cases are handled and tried in front of a judge rather than a jury. 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.
Filing a Small Claims Court Case in Clay County
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 these apply, the court would not have jurisdiction and would be unable 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 Clay 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.