Small Claims

The Small Claims Division handles civil disputes that involve amounts of money under $5,000. This division is responsible for assisting citizens in filing a small claim action by providing the necessary forms, instructional materials and references on small claims process.

Summons


After you file your small claims case, each person or business you are suing must be served with a summons/notice to appear in court on the date and time scheduled when you initially filed your claim. Additional fees are required for service of process on the parties being sued.

Money Collection


The court cannot collect money damages for you. Once a settlement or a judgment is rendered by the court, the case is closed, and any subsequent activity, including collection efforts will reopen the case. Per Florida Statute, the reopen fee for any civil action requiring judicial involvement will be required to be paid at the time of filing each pleading including motions, affidavit of amount due, motion for contempt or show cause, etc.

The reopen fee is $25 for all claims of not more than $500 and $50 for all claims of more than $500.

Mediation


Reasons the Judge will require mediation:
  • Mediation is economical
  • Settlement is viewed as fair by both parties
  • One court meeting
  • No need to subpoena evidence or witnesses and depend on their presence at trial
  • No extensive trial preparation
  • Preserves personal and business relationships
  • Allows debtors to arrange repayment plans, avoid a judgment, and preserve credit reputation
  • Protects privacy and avoids the publicity of trial
  • Both parties remain in control and participate in a "win-win" solution
  • The agreement is final and the dispute resolved

For additional information select Small Claims Information Sheet (PDF).