Pasco County Small Claims Court Courthouse
Small claims court cases can be filed at the Pasco County Courthouse which is located at: 7530 Little Road New Port Richey, FL 34654 The phone number for the Pasco County Court is: 727-847-8199.
Court Costs and Fees for Pasco County Small Claims Court
There are costs involved with filing a small claims court case in Pasco County which include a filing fee and a service fee. If a final judgment is entered in your favor, these costs can be added to the total amount of your judgment. A person interested in filing a small claims court case should contact the Pasco County Clerk Court to ask about the fee for your specific case.
How to Effect Service on a Defendant in Pasco County Small Claims Court
Once a case is filed, the case cannot proceed until the Defendant has been served. 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. If you are suing a business, you need to ascertain whether the business is incorporated or not. 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. 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. You also need to learn if the business is operating under a ficitious name. The Florida Department of Corporations can be used to research this as well.
Cases that Cannot Be Filed in Pasco County Small Claims Court
Small Claims Court does not handle cases involving the following:
- traffic court fines
What Jurisdiction does the Pasco County Small Claims Court Have?
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 Pasco 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). A claim of up to $5,000.00, not including costs, interest, and attorneys fees, can be filed in small claims court in Pasco County. Chapter 34 of the Florida Statutes and Rule 7.010 authorize the limit on small claims court cases.
Are Jury Trials available in Pasco County Small Claims Court Cases?
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. The plaintiff or defendant can both 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.
How to Prepare to File a Small Claims Court Case in Pasco County
Before you file a small claims court action in Pasco County, you should communicate with the other party about what is exactly in dispute. 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 is the simplest and easiest way of resolving your case before the court system becomes involved (and will resolve it far quicker).
Who May File a Pasco County Small Claims Court Case?
The following people can file a small claims court case:
- Someone 18 years of age and older
- A parent or guardian on behalf of anyone under 18
- For corporations, an officer may file on behalf of the corporation provided there is written authorization
How do I file a small claims court case in Pasco County?
You need to contact the Pasco Clerk’s Office and obtain and complete a Statement of Claim form. 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.
Pasco County Small Claims Court Rules
The procedures governing all small claims court cases in Florida are found in the Florida Small Claims Rules.
Pasco 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 case cannot be settled, 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. Appearances at pre-trial conferences by both plaintiff and defendant 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 may be represented at the pre-trial conference by an officer of the corporation or any employee authorized by an officer of the 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.