Q: Orange County negligently mishandled my identity which has irreparably damaged my life and career
I'm tired of hearing people say, after I explained what happened to me, OMG you need an attorney. Can an individual sue the county?
A: In theory, yes but government bodies may be immune from suit under a doctrine called sovreign immunity. Nobody online can give you the level or quality of advice you'd need to be able to act on your own; only an attorney whom you retain to resolve the issue can do that.
A: To add to Mr. Kaufman's answer, before you can sue a county in Fla. for negligence, you must submit a notice of claim within three years pursuant to Fla. Statute Sec. 768.28 in order for the county to have the opportunity to evaluate your claim and attempt to settle with you to prevent litigation (suing). The county then has up to six months to decide what to do with your claim. They can attempt to settle, deny the claim, or simply sit on it for six months doing nothing - their choice. If not settled, and you sue, the court complaint must allege compliance with the notice of claim statute. Do you need an attorney? Not necessarily for the notice of claim stage, but at the very least you should schedule a consultation with an attorney to render an opinion on the validity and worthwhileness of your potential claim. Also, if you don't draft the notice of claim correctly and send it correctly, it will be deemed invalid, and any future suit would be tossed out due to noncompliance with the notice statute. Another aspect of this is that, if you don't have an attorney represent you on the notice of claim, the county may figure that no attorney was willing to take your case.
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