Can I have a jury in my Gadsden County Small Claims Court Case?
A jury trial is available in a small claims court case in Florida. However, most small claims court cases are heard by a judge. Either party may 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 neither of these occur, the case will be tried to a judge.
Filing a Claim in Gadsden County Small Claims Court
You need to contact the Gadsden 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.
Filing a Small Claims Court Case in Gadsden County
In Florida, a small claims court case can only be filed in the county where the incident giving rise to the claim occurred, the property involved in the case sits, or where the Defendant lives. 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). Claims up to $5,000.00 (not including interest, attorney fees, or costs) can be filed in small claims court. This is authorized under Rule 7.010 of the Florida Rules of Court and Chapter 34 of the Florida Statutes.
Cases that Cannot Be Filed in Gadsden County Small Claims Court
Gadsden County Small Claims Court handles all types of cases except:
- traffic court fines
Pre-Trial Conferences for Gadsden County Small Claims Court Cases
A pre-trial conference is an attempt to resolve or settle the case through a Mediation Agreement. If the pre-trial conference is not successful in resolving your case, 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. 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.
How to Effect Service on a Defendant in Gadsden 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. The plaintiff also needs a good address of where those individuals can be served. If you are suing a business, you need to ascertain whether the business is incorporated or not. 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.
Who Can File a Small Claims Court Case in Gadsden County?
A person can file a small claims court case in Florida if any of the following apply:
- 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
Gadsden County Small Claims Court Costs and Fees
There are costs involved with filing a small claims court case in Gadsden 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. You should contact the Gadsden County Clerk Court to inquire about the specific amount of the filing fee for your case.
How to Prepare to File a Small Claims Court Case in Gadsden County
Before you file a small claims court action in Gadsden 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 will be the quickest and easiest way to resolve your dispute.
Gadsden County Small Claims Courthouse
Small Claims Court cases in Gadsden County can be filed at the Gadsden County Courthouse which is at: 10 East Jefferson Street Quincy, FL 32351 The courthouse can be reached at: 850-875-8601.
Gadsden County Small Claims Court Rules
Small Claims court cases in Gadsden County are governed by the Florida Small Claims Rules.