Court Costs and Fees for Osceola County Small Claims Court
Costs for filing a small claims court case in Osceola 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. Contact the Osceola County Court Clerk for the specific amount of the filing fee for your specific case.
Who May File a Osceola County Small Claims Court Case?
A person can file a small claims court case in Florida if any of the following apply:
- A person 18 years of age or older
- You are the parent or guardian of a minor and are filing on their behalf
- A corporate officer on behalf of the corporation (requires written authorization)
How to Prepare to File a Small Claims Court Case in Osceola County
Prior to filing a Osceola County Small Claims Court case, you should try and discuss with the opposing party about what is actually being contested. The best way to accomplish this is to write a short succint letter outling your position and deliver it to the other party. 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).
Osceola County Small Claims Courthouse
Small claims court cases can be filed at the Osceola County Courthouse which is located at: 2 Courthouse Square Kissimmee, FL 34741 The phone number for the Osceola County Court is: 407-742-3708.
Service of Defendant in a Osceola 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. If the plaintiff is suing a business, you need to determine whether the business has 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. 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 Osceola County Small Claims Court?
Florida Small Claims Court cases cannot handle cases involving the following items:
- alimony payments
- mortgage payments
- traffic fines
Osceola County Small Claims Court Pre-Trial Conference
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 pre-trial conference is not successful in resolving your case, the court will set it for trial. 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. 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. The plaintiff is still required to attend all of these pre-trial conferences.
Osceola County Small Claims Court Rules
All small claims court cases in Florida are governed by the Florida Small Claims Rules.
Filing a Claim in Osceola County Small Claims Court
The party filing the case needs to complete a Statement of Claim form (which can be obtained from the Osceola Court Clerk’s Office). The form should be typed or printed with a pen to ensure it is legible.
Filing a Small Claims Court Case in Osceola County
In Florida, you can only file a small claims court action in the county where the Defendant lives, where the situation giving rise to the action occurred, or where the property involved is situated. 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 Osceola County can hear cases concerning claims up to $5,000.00 (with costs, attorneys fees and interests added on top of that). 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.
Are Jury Trials available in Osceola County Small Claims Court Cases?
Even though it is small claims court, a jury trial is available. Even though a jury trial is available, the large majority of small claims court cases are heard in front of a judge. The plaintiff or defendant can both make a request for 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 of these occur, the case will be tried to a judge.