How do I file a small claims court case in Levy County?
The plaintiff needs to obtain and complete a Statement of Claim form which is found at the Levy 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.
Court Costs and Fees for Levy County Small Claims Court
Costs for filing a small claims court case in Levy 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 final judgment is entered in your favor, these costs can be added to the total amount of your judgment. You should contact the Levy County Clerk Court to inquire about the specific amount of the filing fee for your case.
Levy 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 pre-trial conference is not successful in resolving your case, the court will set it for trial. 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. 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. 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.
How to Prepare to File a Small Claims Court Case in Levy 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 easiest way for this is to draft and deliver a letter to the other party which succintly details your complaint. This may resolve your issue before you even have to file a case. Sending this initial communicaiton will be the simplest and most efficient way of resolving your case.
Serving a Defendant in Levy County Small Claims Court Cases
Once a case is filed, the Plaintiff needs to take steps to serve all the Defendants which were named in the case. You need to knows the full name of the individual that you are suing. 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. 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. 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.
Jury Trial in Small Claims Court in Levy County
A jury trial is available in a small claims court case 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. 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 either of these do not occur, then the case will be tried in front of a judge.
What Types of Cases are Not Handled in Levy County Small Claims Court?
Florida Small Claims Court cases cannot handle cases involving the following items:
- alimony payments
- traffic court fines
What Jurisdiction does the Levy County Small Claims Court Have?
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 Levy County Small Claims Court will not have proper jurisdiction to hear the 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. Claims up to $5,000.00 (not including interest, attorney fees, or costs) can be filed in small claims court. 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.
Levy County Small Claims Courthouse
Small claims court cases can be filed at the Levy County Courthouse which is located at: 355 Court Street Bronson, FL 32621 The courthouse can be reached at: 352-486-5266.
Who May File a Levy 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 Levy County
Small Claims court cases in Levy County are governed by the Florida Small Claims Rules.