Florida law allows small-claims cases to be filed in county court. The aim of creating a special small claims court is to provide a less formal, faster way to settle legal disputes involving no more than $5,000, not counting court costs, interest, and attorney’s fees. A small-claims case can brought be wherever the defendant resides, where a disputed contract was entered (unless the contract provides otherwise), or where disputed property is located.
You are generally not required to be represented by counsel in a small-claims case. Even if you think you have a relatively minor legal dispute, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced lawyer, to make sure that you are not missing significant issues. You should also be aware that the other side to the dispute can try to attach offsetting claims against you to a small-claims case, and those counter-claims could be larger than $5,000; that could take you out of small claims court.
Strict time limits apply to small claims court, so you want to be certain that you’re fully prepared before filing a small-claims case. In addition, even if you win a small-claims dispute, the court will not collect for you on any judgment you have received.
The King Firm PA will welcome you to discuss your situation, and help you determine whether a small-claims filing is your best option. Call us for a free initial consultation.