Who is Able to File a Case in Brevard County Small Claims Court?
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
- You are filing or acting on behalf of a corporation as an officer with prior written authorization
Are Jury Trials available in Brevard County Small Claims Court Cases?
A jury trial is available in a small claims court case in Florida. A large majority of cases are handled and tried in front of a judge rather than a jury. 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.
Brevard County Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
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, the court would not have jurisdiction and would be unable 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 Brevard County. Chapter 34 of the Florida Statutes and Rule 7.010 authorize the limit on small claims court cases.
Cases that Cannot Be Filed in Brevard County Small Claims Court
Florida Small Claims Court cases cannot handle cases involving the following items:
- alimony payments
- traffic fines
Brevard 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, it will be set for trial on the judge’s trial docket. You need to make sure the Defendant has been served prior to the pre-trial conference or it will be cancelled by the court. Appearance at the pre-trial conference is mandatory. Whoever appears must have full authority to settle the case otherwise costs and attorney fees incurred by the opposing party may be imposed. 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. 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.
Filing a Claim in Brevard County Small Claims Court
You need to contact the Brevard Clerk’s Office and obtain and complete a Statement of Claim form. The form should be typed or printed with a pen to ensure it is legible.
Court Costs and Fees for Brevard County Small Claims Court
The costs for filing a Small Claims case in Brevard County include the filing fee, which is based on the amount of your claim, as well as a service fee for summoning each party to court. If a final judgment is entered in your favor, these costs can be added to the total amount of your judgment. Contact the Brevard County Court Clerk for the specific amount of the filing fee for your specific case.
Rules for Brevard Small Claims Court Cases
The procedures governing all small claims court cases in Florida are found in the Florida Small Claims Rules.
How to Prepare to File a Small Claims Court Case in Brevard County
Before you file a small claims court action in Brevard 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. 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).
Serving a Defendant in Brevard 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. It is very important that you have the full name of the individual you want to sue. You also need to a good 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. The plaintiff also needs to research whether a business is utilizing a fictitious business name. The Department of Corporations can assist you with this.
Location for Small Claims Courthouse in Brevard County
Small claims court cases can be filed at the Brevard County Courthouse which is located at: 400 South Street Titusville, FL 32780 The courthouse can be reached at: 321-637-2017.