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Florida Small Claims Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Employment Discrimination and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: I'm a 1099 contractor of service, I recently refused to sign a non compete, now client refuses to pay. What can I do?

I'm a independent contractor working for a cleaning service for the past 3 months. The owner of cleaning service has paid me every Saturday for work completed. However, they just recently asked me to sign a non compete. I politely declined and resigned from my services. Now the owner is... Read more »

Kevin Sanderson
Kevin Sanderson
answered on Oct 31, 2022

This is a concern. You worked the hours in question and the non-comp was not a part of the agreement.

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: I won a $6000 smallclaims suit against an autoshop.The owner want me to get a lawyer to arrange payment. Can you help?

The owner of an auto repair shop I just won a $6000 small claims suit against want me to get a lawyer to arrange the payment. Can she make me do that? Do I have to do that? Do I have to get a lawyer? Do I have to take her to court again?

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Oct 26, 2022

Can she make me do that? No. Do I have to do that? No. Do I have to get a lawyer? No.

Do I have to take her to court again? Only if she fails to pay the judgment, in which case you may execute on the judgment by garnishing the business's bank account (basically, you can...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: If I get dv battery charge dropped in fl, what lawful civil retribution should I do?

Filing false police report, pain n suffering like whole unnecessary arrest, imprisonment and court fees? Kicked out of own house after she already moved out due to can't return to scene she claimed. Forced to abandon dogs until trial is done.

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Oct 15, 2022

Retribution means punishing for revenge. I assume that's not what you mean; that you instead mean to ask what legal action you can take to seek monetary compensation for your loss of liberty, economic losses, and emotional distress. You certainly may sue your accuser (your ex) for malicious... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: I received a voluntary dismissal without prejudice. Can I file a motion for clarification and ask it to be changed?

I would like to motion the court for clarification of the "voluntary dismissal without prejudice" vs why the dismissal is not filed as "dismissal with prejudice". If no such reason is clarified and accepted by the court, can I ask the court to move the dismissal to that of "with prejudice"?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Oct 8, 2022

If the plaintiff complied with Florida Small Claims Rule 7.110 (a) (1), the plaintiff can dismiss without prejudice. The plaintiff doesn't have to submit a reason.

See https://www-media.floridabar.org/uploads/2022/01/Small-Claims-Rules-10-28-2021.pdf

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Do I file a motion to dismiss or strike or just ask to disregard uploaded e filed dockets? Self representation

I have a small claims pretrial hearing, and there have been dockets that were electronically uploaded through the e file service my county provides, and it duplicated ATTACHMENTS/EXHIBITS to PLEADING. also, two dockets failed to upload all the pages of the ATTACHMENTS/EXHIBITS to PLEADING. I am the... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Sep 21, 2022

I suggest you bring this up at the pretrial hearing. It is extremely doubtful that redundancy or judicial confusion will be a problem. If some of the attachments are missing, ask that the defendant be ordered to supplement them.

3 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: If suing a LLC business, and the principal address and mailing address are different, which address should be served?

The business I am suing is an LLC and is also franchised. This will be a small claims case in the state of Florida. For the business I am suing, there is a principal address listed, a mailing address listed and also a registered agent name and address listed. Which of these addresses should receive... Read more »

Mark R. Osherow
Mark R. Osherow
answered on Sep 20, 2022

Florida Statutes 48.062, Service on a limited liability company. states:

(1) Process against a limited liability company, domestic or foreign, may be served on the registered agent designated by the limited liability company under chapter 605. A person attempting to serve process...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Can I obtain possession of my sister's ashes when I paid all expenses?

My sister passed 9/2021. I paid all expenses, equaling over $2,000, because my BIL did not have the funds. He picked up her remains since he was the husband. Now he is refusing to allow us access to her children and my mom has always wanted some of her ashes. Would I be able to be awarded... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Sep 4, 2022

No, sorry. He is entitled by law to her ashes because he was married to your sister at the time of her death. If you can prove that the money you paid was a loan, and not a gift, you may be able to prevail in a small claims lawsuit against him. You'd have to sue him in Florida. Be forewarned... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Hello, we are in need of legal advise as to whether we should sue in small claims court.

We hired a couple to do epoxy floors on our garage floors. They said their product came with a 6 year warranty. We paid them $800 and after a month, the flakes started coming up. We contacted them to fix the issue and it was one excuse after another. They offered us a refund and to re-do our... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Aug 31, 2022

The only avenue open to you, with any chance of success is small claims court. If you prevail to judgment, you are entitled to costs. Make certain that you sue the correct legal entity. Many clerks have information and forms on their websites. You can find the Florida Small Claims Rules online.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Is there any reason I would be exempt from my bonus?

1.8 years ago I referred an employee to my company during a referral bonus promotion, 5K after three months of her employment, and another 5K after one year. She was hired and started work last Sept. I received the 5K bonus after 3 months (but had to “nudge” the regional director and payroll to... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Aug 31, 2022

Yes, without looking at the paperwork, it looks like you will be entitled to the additional $5,000 on September 15th.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Consumer Law, Contracts and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Should I file a small class action suit or replevin? Am I entitled to any additional damages?

I paid an ac co. $6000 for a system and install. They installed everything excepts ducts then refused saying there were spiders in crawlspace. They said they would take everything, keeping $1000 for their time. I told them I now owned the equipment and not to take it unless I got a full refund.... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Aug 29, 2022

If you sue them for the $1,000 they are trying to keep, replevin would not make any sense, you would not be out they money you paid them. You might want to talk to an attorney to see if any "other damages" would be practical.

A class action suit would probably not work....
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: I need to know if I have any options and should I move out of the house?

My grandfather got me an house to live in. I have paid the mortgage for over 7-10 years. My grandfather died and my father took over the house. He refinanced in his name. He was able to do that because his siblings signed over the rights only if the house remained mines. The mortgage on the house I... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Jul 25, 2022

It looks like your father can, if he knows what he's doing, evict all of you, including your boyfriend. The two of you probably should start looking for a different place to live.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Civil: defendant admits under oath he walked off the job/notcomplete work, paid in full. Judge still ruled in his favor

I had the outline of what work he was to do, I paid him in full he didn't finish. In court he & his 2 witnesses admit they didn't complete the work. He also got caught lying under oath. I had proof to back up all of this. The judge ruled in favor of the defendant!

After I... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Jul 20, 2022

Hopefully, there was a court reporter present so that a record of what happened is available. If so, find an attorney to appeal ASAP.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Business Law, Civil Litigation, Small Claims and Libel & Slander for Florida on
Q: Can I be sued, and if so what can I do?

I had a small pet sitting gig where I offer pet sitting services. I was contacted by a gentleman to overnight pet sit for 10 days (06/17 - 06/26). We agreed, he paid me 80% up front. (No contract signed, no witness to the agreement) My partner and I stayed from 06/17 - 06/19, and I stayed by myself... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Jun 23, 2022

It appears that he is threatening to tell people bad things about you, not physically attack you or anything like that. Arguably it's a threat to defame (slander) you. Could you sue him if he did? I probably wouldn't bother.

Why should you care if the police won't make a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Collections and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: I have a motion for attorney fees against me, they are threatening a lien on a property I do not own?

I filed a small claims suit against my boyfriend's HOA for wrongful tow of my car. Missed the hearing, so it was dismissed. Judge ruled for the motion for attorney fee's, $3,000. Letter was sent to the address where the incident took place (not a home I own, but my boyfriend does). They... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Jun 20, 2022

HOA documents provide for prevailing party attorneys' fees and costs to be assessed against a party litigating a HOA matter. Owners are liable for the actions of their guests, tenants and anyone living in their property. A lawyer would need to read the HOA declaration and the complaint to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Criminal Law and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: I signed POA to my boyfriends mother. Only to get my car out of impound. She now says the car is my ex and it’s hidden

My ex-boyfriend and I was both in jail. A friend of ours got my car impounded. My daughters grandmother offered to pay to get it out of impound. if I would sign the title over to her to give to my daughter. which was a nice suggestion if I wanted to sell it I still wanted my car. My ex-boyfriend... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Jun 14, 2022

It depends, of course, on the wording of the POA. If it gives her authority to convey title to someone else, you are probably out of luck. If, on the other hand, it merely gives her authority to pay the impound fees and take possession, you might be able to take it up with the DMV.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Can I take an invited party to small claims court for damage to my property they accidentally caused?

An individual, not a company, knocked on my door to ask if I needed my lawn mowed. They accidentally shot debris hard enough at my back door to cause the exterior glass to shatter. They admitted they were at fault and lied about paying for damages. It has been weeks and I have seen no money from... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Jun 5, 2022

First, I assume that the damage is a deductible from you homeowner insurance so you have not made an insurance claim claim.

The damage may well be considered negligent on the part of the individual who was mowing you lawn. If you decide to take him to court, be aware that at the small...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: After 1 year of paying agreement, the bank continuous to report to credit agencies being late, what recourse do I have?

The agreement authorized by a judge in court and to be paid on a monthly basis agreed by the bank and myself. But I have been denied loans and credit help because the bank reported since the date of the new agreement as been late on monthly causing a negative report of my credit worthiness. So I... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
answered on May 31, 2022

It is impossible for any Florida lawyer to help you unless you give them legible copies of all the documents underlying this banking credit problem and the court documents you refer to here. Search for an experienced banking lawyer here on Justia and contact them.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Traffic Tickets, Car Accidents and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: How can I clear an FR 3 suspension if I don't have the funds to pay the judgment?

I was involved in a minor accident in 2011. No damage to either vehicle. My insurance had lapsed and the other party filed a law suit. I moved out of state and realized years later a default judgment was entered against me. Now the dmv wants proof that the debt was satisfied before they will... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on May 25, 2022

You indicate that there was no "damage to either vehicle", but the default judgment apparently indicates otherwise. I suggest that you get an attorney to negotiate a settlement (perhaps paying only a portion) with the judgment creditor.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: What is the procedure after you loose in small claims ? How does the winner collect the money ?
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Apr 26, 2022

If you are sued in small claims court and the plaintiff is awarded a money judgment against you, you have 30 days to either pay or appeal. If you don't do that (or if you file an appeal without obtaining a stay), you will likely be required to complete what's called the Fact Information... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: I’m suing my veterinarian. In this case, should I name the vets personally or sue their practice/company? Or both?

It’s a VCA hospital but I can’t figure out whether to name the defendant(s) as the veterinarians individually or the company they work for, or both. Any reply I’d appreciate.

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Apr 24, 2022

Since you are asking this question, I assume you are representing yourself, and that you have not consulted with a lawyer to give you guidance on self-representation. If so, your case is almost certain to be dismissed because most lay people do not know what proof is necessary to prevent the case... Read more »

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