Types of Cases Not Handled in Dixie County Small Claims Court
Small Claims Court does not handle cases involving the following:
- mortgage payments
- traffic fines
Can I have a jury in my Dixie County Small Claims Court Case?
Jury trials are available in small claims court cases in Florida. A large majority of cases are handled and tried in front of a judge rather than a jury. Either party may 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 the plaintiff or defendant request a jury trial, the case will be tried in front of a judge.
Rules Governing Small Claims Court Cases in Dixie County
All small claims court cases in Florida are governed by the Florida Small Claims Rules.
Dixie County Small Claims Court Courthouse
Small claims court cases can be filed at the Dixie County Courthouse which is located at: 214 N.E. 351 Highway Cross City, FL 32628 The courthouse can be reached at: 352-498-1200.
How do I file a small claims court case in Dixie County?
You need to contact the Dixie Clerk’s Office and obtain and complete a Statement of Claim form. The form should be typed or printed with a pen to ensure it is legible.
Who May File a Dixie County Small Claims Court Case?
The following people can file a small claims court case:
- Someone 18 years of age and older
- You are the parent or guardian of a minor and are filing on their behalf
- For corporations, an officer may file on behalf of the corporation provided there is written authorization
Service of Defendant in a Dixie 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. You also need an 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 Florida Department of Corporations can be used to research this as well.
Dixie 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 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. A person representing someone else at a pre-trial conference needs to have full settlement authority otherwise the court may award court costs and attorneys fees against a party that does not comply with this. 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.
Preparing to File a Dixie County Small Claims Court Case
Prior to filing a Dixie County Small Claims Court case, you should try and discuss with the opposing party about what is actually being contested. 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. This will be the quickest and easiest way to resolve your dispute.
Dixie County Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
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 these apply, then the Dixie County Small Claims Court will not have proper jurisdiction to hear the case. This may open a judgment you obtain to attack when you try to collect it. Small Claims court cases in Dixie 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.
Court Costs and Fees for Dixie County Small Claims Court
Costs for filing a small claims court case in Dixie 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 prevails in the case, it can add the costs and fees into the judgment and recover for those costs as well. You should contact the Dixie County Clerk Court to inquire about the specific amount of the filing fee for your case.