Who Can File a Small Claims Court Case in Jackson County?
A person can file a small claims court case in Florida if any of the following apply:
- Someone 18 years of age and older
- Parents or Guardians can file on behalf of a minor
- For corporations, an officer may file on behalf of the corporation provided there is written authorization
Jackson 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. 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. 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. Depending on how many defendants are involved in a case and when each defendant was served, the court may schedule different dates for pre-trial conferences on the same case. If this occurs, the plaintiff is still requires to attend all the different pre-trial conference dates.
Jackson County Small Claims Court Costs and Fees
There are costs involved with filing a small claims court case in Jackson County which include a filing fee and a service fee. If a party obtains a judgment in its favor, these court costs can be added into the total amount of the judgment. Contact the Jackson County Court Clerk for the specific amount of the filing fee for your specific case.
How to Prepare to File a Small Claims Court Case in Jackson County
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 best way to do this is to send a letter which clearly states 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.
Serving a Defendant in Jackson 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). The plaintiff needs to know the full names of all the individuals you are suing. 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. 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. If a business has a fictitious name, you will need to obtain that as well. The fictitious name information can be obtained through the Department of State, Division of Corporations as well.
Rules Governing Small Claims Court Cases in Jackson County
Small Claims court cases in Jackson County are governed by the Florida Small Claims Rules.
What Types of Cases are Not Handled in Jackson County Small Claims Court?
Small Claims Court does not handle cases involving the following:
- alimony payments
- traffic court fines
Filing a Claim in Jackson County Small Claims Court
You need to contact the Jackson 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.
Are Jury Trials available in Jackson County Small Claims Court Cases?
Jury trials are available in small claims court cases in Florida. Even though a jury trial is available, the large majority of small claims court cases are heard in front of a judge. Either party may make a request for a jury trial. The plaintiff can request a jury trial at the time the case is initially filed, and the defendant can make a request for the same within five days of being served or at the pre-trial conference. (Small Claims Court Rule 7.150). If either of these do not occur, then the case will be tried in front of a judge.
Location for Small Claims Courthouse in Jackson County
Small claims court cases can be filed at the Jackson County Courthouse which is located at: 4445 Lafayette Street Marianna, FL 32446 The courthouse can be reached at: 850-482-9552.
Filing a Small Claims Court Case in Jackson 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 the above apply, then jurisdiction is not property in Jackson County and the court will not be able to hear your case. If this occurs, you risk obtaining a judgment that can then be challenged and attacked by the defendant after the case when you begin to collect it (which would mean you would have to start all over in the proper county). Claims up to $5,000.00 (not including interest, attorney fees, or costs) can be filed in small claims court. This is authorized under Rule 7.010 of the Florida Rules of Court and Chapter 34 of the Florida Statutes.