Putnam 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. You need to make sure the Defendant has been served prior to the pre-trial conference or it will be cancelled by the court. 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. 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. If this occurs, the plaintiff is still requires to attend all the different pre-trial conference dates.
Before Filing your Putnam 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 best way to accomplish this is to write a short succint letter outling your position and deliver it to the other party. This may resolve your issue before you even have to file a case. This will be the quickest and easiest way to resolve your dispute.
What Types of Cases are Not Handled in Putnam County Small Claims Court?
Florida Small Claims Court cases cannot handle cases involving the following items:
- traffic court fines
How to Effect Service on a Defendant in Putnam County Small Claims Court
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). You need to knows the full name of the individual that 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 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. You also need to learn if the business is operating under a ficitious name. The Department of Corporations can assist you with this.
Putnam County Small Claims Court Costs and Fees
There are costs involved with filing a small claims court case in Putnam County which include a filing fee and a service fee. 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 Putnam County Court Clerk for the specific amount of the filing fee for your specific case.
Location for Small Claims Courthouse in Putnam County
Small Claims cases can be filed at the Putnam County Courthouse which is located at: 410 St. Johns Avenue Palatka, FL 32177 The phone number for the Putnam County Court is: 386-326-7600.
Filing a Small Claims Court Case in Putnam 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, then the Putnam 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. Small Claims court cases in Putnam County can hear cases concerning claims up to $5,000.00 (with costs, attorneys fees and interests added on top of that). Chapter 34 of the Florida Statutes and Rule 7.010 authorize the limit on small claims court cases.
Can I have a jury in my Putnam County Small Claims Court Case?
Even though it is small claims court, a jury trial is available. A large majority of cases are handled and tried in front of a judge rather than a jury. 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 of these occur, the case will be tried to a judge.
Who May File a Putnam County Small Claims Court Case?
A person can file a small claims court case in Florida if any of the following apply:
- You are 18 years or older
- A parent or guardian on behalf of anyone under 18
- A corporate officer on behalf of the corporation (requires written authorization)
Putnam County Small Claims Court Rules
Small Claims court cases in Putnam County are governed by the Florida Small Claims Rules.
How do I file a small claims court case in Putnam County?
You need to contact the Putnam Clerk’s Office and obtain and complete a Statement of Claim form. The form needs to be typed or printed with a pen to ensure the legibility.