Small Claims

Small Claims Court is a way to settle legal disputes in which the amount of damages or value of the property involved does not exceed $8,000.00.

For filing a small claims case download the Statement of Claim below.


 Who May Sue?

  • Anyone 18 years of age or older
  • A parent or guardian for anyone under 18 years of age
  • Anyone having a claim that does not exceed $8,000.00

 Filing Instructions

In the space for the plaintiff, insert the name, address and telephone number of the person filing the lawsuit.

Insert the name and address of the person(s) or business you are suing in the space marked "defendant". You must have the defendant’s complete name and address; do not use a post office box. If the defendant is a corporation, provide the name of an officer or registered agent of the corporation so that the notice can be served. This information is available from the Secretary of State, Corporation Filing Division, Tallahassee, FL 32304. Also, you may search corporate filings online at the Department of State website.

Briefly state your claim and the amount you are suing for in the spaces provided. If your claim is based on written documentation, attach it to the original Statement of Claim form.

The Statement of Claim form must be fully completed and must be signed before a notary public or deputy clerk. File the original Statement of Claim form with the Clerk of Court along with identical copies of the original document(s) for each defendant named.

The clerk will then prepare the summons/notice to appear.

 Serving Notice to Appear

The notice must be served in one of the following manners:

  • By the sheriff, $40.00 per service payable in cashier’s check or money order to the Sheriff’s department.

  • By certified mail, return receipt requested; at postal price, include in filing fee.

  • Certified mail may only be used when the defendant(s) resides in Florida. If the defendant refuses the certified mail, the pre-trial conference will be delayed until the notice can be served.

 Pre-trial Conference

A pre-trial conference will be scheduled after you file your claim. Appearance at the pre-trial is mandatory. A corporation may be represented at any stage of the trial court proceedings by an officer of the corporation or any employee authorized by an officer of the corporation. This conference determines if a cause of action exists and allows a mediation opportunity to be taken advantage of, such as setting trial dates, as well as judgments to be entered by default. If the defendant contests the claim, the judge will schedule a trial date and the clerk will provide notice to each party.

If the defendant is not served the notice, the pre-trial conference will be canceled. It will be re-scheduled if you provide additional information so that the notice can be served.

If there is more than one defendant and at least one of the defendants has been served, the pre-trial will be heard against that defendant only. If the other defendant(s) is served at a later date, another pre-trial date will be scheduled against that defendant.

The clerk’s office is not authorized to waive your attendance. The judge can dismiss the plaintiff’s action if they fail to appear at the pre-trial hearing. Only the judge is authorized to excuse parties from court appearances.

 Collecting Money Judgments

If a court has awarded you a final judgment stating that someone owes you money, visit the State of Fl Website for suggestions that may help you collect that money. You may wish to consult an attorney if you have any questions or need additional information

 Satisfaction of Judgment

Once your judgment has been paid in full, or if you have reached a compromise with the defendant, a satisfaction of judgment must be filed with the small claims division in the Clerk’s office. There will be a $10.00 fee to file the satisfaction. In addition, the Sheriff should be notified if you have filed a writ of execution so that it can be canceled.
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