Union County Small Claims Court Costs and Fees
The costs for filing a Small Claims case in Union 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 Union County Court Clerk for the specific amount of the filing fee for your specific case.
Union County Small Claims Court Courthouse
Small Claims cases can be filed at the Union County Courthouse which is located at: 55 W. Main Street LakeButler, FL 32054 The phone number for the courthouse is: 386-496-3711.
Pre-Trial Conferences for Union County Small Claims Court Cases
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. 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. 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.
Who Can File a Small Claims Court Case in Union County?
The following people can file a small claims court case:
- A person 18 years of age or 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
What Types of Cases are Not Handled in Union County Small Claims Court?
Florida Small Claims Court cases cannot handle cases involving the following items:
- mortgage payments
- traffic fines
Are Jury Trials available in Union County Small Claims Court Cases?
Even though it is small claims court, a jury trial is available. 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 the plaintiff or defendant request a jury trial, the case will be tried in front of a judge.
How to Effect Service on a Defendant in Union County Small Claims Court
Once a case is filed, the Plaintiff needs to take steps to serve all the Defendants which were named in the case. 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. 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.
How to Prepare to File a Small Claims Court Case in Union County
Before you file a small claims court action in Union County, you should communicate with the other party about what is exactly in dispute. The easiest way for this is to draft and deliver a letter to the other party which succintly details your complaint. 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 Jurisdiction does the Union 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 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. A claim of up to $5,000.00, not including costs, interest, and attorneys fees, can be filed in small claims court in Union County. 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.
How do I file a small claims court case in Union County?
The plaintiff needs to obtain and complete a Statement of Claim form which is found at the Union County Small Claims Court Clerk’s office. The form should be typed or printed with a pen to ensure it is legible.
Rules for Union Small Claims Court Cases
The procedures governing all small claims court cases in Florida are found in the Florida Small Claims Rules.