Evictions

APRIL 2, 2020 FLORIDA GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS ISSUED EXECUTIVE ORDER NO.20-94 SUSPENDING ALL EVICTIONS FOR THE NEXT 45 DAYS IN RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 EMERGENCY.

The order states, “I hereby suspend and toll any statute providing for an eviction cause of action under Florida law solely as it relates to non-payment of rent by residential tenants due to the COVID-19 emergency for 45 days from the date of this Executive Order, including any extensions.”

The order also states, “Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed as relieving an individual from their obligation to make mortgage payments or rent payments.”

The Clerk’s Office will still be accepting all filings for evictions.

Landlord Tenant Residential Evictions 
The Clerk’s office located on the second floor of the Judicial Wing at the Hendry County Courthouse in LaBelle, Florida, or the Clerk’s office located at the Sub-office in Clewiston, Florida, has eviction forms for residential leases only. If you have a commercial, agricultural, or personal property lease you should consult with an attorney.

The residential landlord/tenant relationship is controlled by the terms of your lease and by Chapter 83, Part II of the Florida Statutes. The procedures for enforcing your rights under your lease and Chapter 83, Part II are set forth in Section 51.011 of the Florida Statutes. You are advised to carefully review these statutes before starting any legal proceedings concerning a residential lease.

Filing an Eviction

  1. Before you can file an eviction, you must give one of the following proper written notices to the tenant(s): 3 day notice for failing to pay rent OR 7 day notice for failing to comply with lease. These days exclude the day of service, holidays and weekends. If the tenant fails to comply with the Notice, you may then file the eviction. These forms are available at the Clerk’s office.
  2. When you file the eviction, you will need one copy of the 3 or 7 day notice that you gave the tenant for the file. Eviction Complaints are available at the Clerk’s office.
  3. There will be a $185.00 filing fee for the Clerk of the Court and a $10.00 fee to issue each summons.
  4. There is an additional $40.00 per defendant for the Sheriff to serve the Summons. You must have a separate money order or check made out to the Hendry County Sheriff’s Department.
  5. If the defendant fails to comply with the Eviction Summons within 5 days (this excludes day of service, holidays and weekends), the landlord can obtain a Motion for Default. The Default form may be obtained from the Clerk’s office. Once the Default has been entered, the Judge will then enter a Judgment. If the defendant should comply with the summons, a hearing will be scheduled and all parties will receive a Notice of Hearing by mail from the Clerk. The landlord will be required to appear in person for Court unless represented by an Attorney.
  6. If a Final Judgment is ordered by the Judge, the Plaintiff may request a Writ of Possession from the Clerk which will be delivered to the Sheriff for service (there is an additional $90.00 charge that you must pay to the Sheriff for serving the Writ).
  7. When a complaint contains a claim for back rent and damages, the Defendant has 20 days to answer that part of the eviction and a hearing will also be scheduled. A copy of this hearing will be served on the tenant along with the Summons. The landlord will receive a copy by mail. The landlord will be required to appeared in person for court unless represented by an Attorney.