SMALL CLAIMS COURT
Small Claims Court is a simplified procedure for resolving civil disputes involving amounts less than $5,000.00.
Small Claim forms are provided by the Clerk of the Court.
Procedures
When a small claims case is filed, a Pre-Trial Summons is issued. At the Pre-Trial, the Plaintiff (person filing the claim) and the Defendant (person the claim is against) appear before a Judge and try to reach a settlement.
If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the case will be set for a trial. The County Judge will hear the case and render a written Final Judgment.
The party awarded the Final Judgment may have a certified copy of the Judgment re-recorded in the Official Records (for an additional fee). The Judgment will then act as a lien against any real property (real estate) the losing party may own in the county where the certified copy of the Judgment is recorded.
The prevailing party may also obtain a writ of execution that may be filed with the Sheriff along with instructions for levy. The sheriff will have a fee associated with this service. The prevailing party will have to provide information to the Sheriff on the personal property they wish to levy. Instruction for collecting on a Final Judgment may be obtained at www.Sunbiz.org.
Consideration for Filing a Small Claims Lawsuit
  • Have all reasonable means been tried to reach a resolution to the problem?
  • Is there a valid legal claim against the other party?
  • Is the necessary evidence available to prove the claim in court?
  • Is the amount involved less than $5,000.00?
  • Do you know the correct legal name and address of the other party?
Place to File Your Claim
1. Where the contract was entered into.
2. If the suit is on an unsecured promissory note, where the note is signed or where the maker resides.
3. If the suit is to recover property or to foreclose a lien, where the property is located.
4. Where the event giving rise to the offense occurred.
5. Where any one or more of the defendants being sued reside.
6. Any location agreed to in a contract.
7. In any action for money due, if there is no agreement as to where suit may be filed, where payment is made.
Collection
It is the responsibility of the prevailing party to collect on the Final Judgment. The collection process can be time consuming and expensive.
1. Record a certified copy of the Final Judgment in the Official Records of the County where the Debtor owns real property. This places a lien on the Debtor's real property in that County. There is a fee for the Clerk to perform this service.
2. Obtain a Judgment Lien in order to levy on the Judgment Debtor's property. Instructions to obtain a judgment lien may be obtained at www.Sunbiz.org.
3. There is also a Writ of Garnishment that can be issued for garnishing wages or bank accounts. This is a more involved legal process that usually requires the services of an attorney.
 
EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009
 
 
FEE SCHEDULE
SMALL CLAIMS/COUNTY CIVIL
HENDRY COUNTY
 
$0 - to - $100.00 $55.00 ($60.75 includes cert. mail fee for PLAINTIFF or PLAINTIFF’S ATTY.)
 
$101.00 - to - $499.99 $80.00 ($85.75 includes cert. mail fee for PLAINTIFF or PLAINTIFF’S ATTY.)
 
$500.00 - to - $2,999.99 $175.00 ($180.75 includes cert. mail fee for PLAINTIFF or PLAINTIFF’S ATTY.)
 
$2,500.00 - to - $4,999.99 $300.00 ($305.75 includes cert mail fee for PLAINTIFF or PLAINTIFF’S ATTY)
 
$5,000.00 - to - $15,000.00 $300.00 (County civil - need attorney to file & represent PLAINTIFF)

TENANT EVICTION    $185.00

Issuance of a Summons
    $10.00

REPLEVIN Fee is regulated by the amount of the claim plus an additional fee of $85.00

 
SHERIFF SERVICE FEE $40.00 Per Person (Defendant) This fee must be paid by CHECK, MONEY ORDER, or CASHIERS CHECK (out of town sheriff’s do not accept personal checks.)
 
CERTIFIED MAIL FEE $5.75 Per Person (Defendant)
(Our Judge has requested that we notice the PLAINTIFF or PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEY by certified mail for the pretrial hearings therefore we ask that you remit the $5.75 CERTIFIED MAIL FEE along with the initial filing fee.)
 
 
SMALL CLAIMS CLERK -
TELEPHONE - (863) 675-5208
P.O. BOX 1760
LABELLE, FL 33935
 
 
 
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