Baker County Small Claims Court Fees and Costs
There are costs involved with filing a small claims court case in Baker 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. You should contact the Baker County Clerk Court to inquire about the specific amount of the filing fee for your case.
Before Filing your Baker 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 easiest way for this is to draft and deliver a letter to the other party which succintly details 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).
How to Effect Service on a Defendant in Baker 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). It is very important that you have the full name of the individual you want to sue. 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 a corporation is being sued, you must have the full name of the corporation and the name and address of a corporate officer or registered agent for the business. 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 Florida Department of Corporations can be used to research this as well.
How do I file a small claims court case in Baker County?
The plaintiff needs to obtain and complete a Statement of Claim form which is found at the Baker County Small Claims Court Clerk’s office. The form needs to be typed or printed with a pen to ensure the legibility.
Baker County Small Claims Court Rules
Small Claims court cases in Baker County are governed by the Florida Small Claims Rules.
What Jurisdiction does the Baker County Small Claims Court Have?
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 Baker 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.
Who May File a Baker County Small Claims Court Case?
You can file a small claims court case if you are one of the following:
- 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
Are Jury Trials available in Baker County Small Claims Court Cases?
A jury trial is available in a small claims court case in Florida. However, most small claims court cases are heard by 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.
Cases that Cannot Be Filed in Baker County Small Claims Court
Small Claims Court does not handle cases involving the following:
- alimony payments
- mortgage payments
- traffic fines
Baker County Small Claims Courthouse
Small claims court cases can be filed at the Baker County Courthouse which is located at: 339 E. Macclenny Avenue Macclenny, FL 32063 The phone number for the courthouse is: 904-259-8113.
Baker 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. 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. But, the plaintiff is still required to attend every pre-trial conference.