Filing a Small Claims Court Case in Glades 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. A claim of up to $5,000.00, not including costs, interest, and attorneys fees, can be filed in small claims court in Glades 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 Glades 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. Either the plaintiff or defendant may request 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 neither the plaintiff or defendant request a jury trial, the case will be tried in front of a judge.
Who May File a Glades County Small Claims Court Case?
You can file a small claims court case if you are one of the following:
- You are 18 years or older
- A parent or guardian on behalf of anyone under 18
- You are filing or acting on behalf of a corporation as an officer with prior written authorization
Rules Governing Small Claims Court Cases in Glades County
All small claims court cases in Florida are governed by the Florida Small Claims Rules.
Court Costs and Fees for Glades County Small Claims Court
The costs for filing a Small Claims case in Glades 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 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 Glades County Clerk Court to inquire about the specific amount of the filing fee for your case.
Service of Defendant in a Glades County Small Claims Case
Once a case is filed, the Plaintiff needs to take steps to serve all the Defendants which were named in the case. 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 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. If a business has a fictitious name, you will need to obtain that as well. The Department of Corporations can assist you with this.
What Types of Cases are Not Handled in Glades County Small Claims Court?
Glades County Small Claims Court handles all types of cases except:
- traffic court fines
Glades County Small Claims Court Pre-Trial Conference
The pre-trial conference is a way for the court to try and resolve your case without a trial (often through informal mediation). If the case cannot be settled, it will be set for trial on the judge’s trial docket. 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. Pre-trial conference appearances are 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. The plaintiff is still required to attend all of these pre-trial conferences.
Glades County Small Claims Courthouse
Small claims court cases can be filed at the Glades County Courthouse which is located at: 500 Avenue J Moore Haven, FL 33471 The phone number for the Glades County Court is: 863-946-6010.
Preparing to File a Glades County Small Claims Court Case
Before filing a case, it is important that you attempt to discuss your case with the opposing party about what the actual issue is. 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. This is the simplest and easiest way of resolving your case before the court system becomes involved (and will resolve it far quicker).
Filing a Small Claims Court Case in Glades County Small Claims Court
You need to contact the Glades 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.