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Florida Small Claims Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: What is the statue of limitations on how long the plantiff has to file a hearing after missing court ordered mediation?
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Aug 10, 2020

The in small claims court, missing court-ordered mediation is grounds for a dismissal by default. So if the case is dismissed the plaintiff will have to ask to reinstate the case. A statute of limitations really has nothing to do with it.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Can a shipper avoid carrier's limit of liability and file a small claims for actual cost of cargo?

- no shipper's written declaration of the

shipper's choice of liability.

-no reasonable opportunity to

choose between two or more levels of liability.

-bill of lading after cargo damage

Damage caused by gross negligent of carrier when loading... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Aug 7, 2020

None of this makes any sense-unless it is the meat of some law school exam question. Have a nice weekend.

2 Answers | Asked in Products Liability, Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Who is responsible for the damage to my bathroom ceiling after upstairs owner neglected to get clogged pipes fixed??

My upstairs neighbor neglected To fix his leak and over the course of six months has been flooding me with poop water. He ruined my Venetian paint with yellow stains. In March he said he will fix it and I have been waiting ever since and today he told me he is only responsible to paint with regular... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jul 25, 2020

He is responsible to paint it the way it was before he damaged it.

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: What type of attorney would I retain for a small claims issue?

My ex boyfriend refused/refuses to return my fathers ashes. I live in Florida and he lives in Texas, and with the covid travel restrictions I cannot travel there to file a claim against him myself, but I’ve read an attorney can do so for me. He’s said the ashes were disposed of but I can’t... Read more »

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron answered on Jul 21, 2020

Whatever type of attorney is needed, he/she must be a member of the Texas Bar in order to represent you in Texas court. Unless your ex took the ashes from Fla. to Texas, he would have to be sued in Texas. Also, if Texas Court's operate the same as Florida's, you don't have to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Gov & Administrative Law, Government Contracts and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: If you leave your property on city property does it become owned by the city?

Volunteers/nonprofit leaving goods overnight.

City then uses such goods, and claims such property is owned by them.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jul 21, 2020

If it's abandoned, and whether that is the case depends on all of the circumstance, it can be taken by anyone.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Condo law question. Seeking reimbursement from HOA mgr

I own a condo in FL and the management office had contacted me many times stating that the unit below me was experiencing water damage from my condo bathroom. Since I live out of town I asked the mgr who phoned me to have condo maintenance handyman inspect. Maintenance eported back that there was... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jul 3, 2020

Yes, you can ask for reimbursement. Hopefully you have documentation from the condo maintenance handyman.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Husband and I had capital one credit card, someone bought the account and is taking me to small claims

It’s from 2015 or 2016. The account got closed and because of interest the amount owed doubled. A company bought the account and is taking me to small claims, all of this during a pandemic! Do I have to show up/do the zoom? Do I need a lawyer.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Jul 2, 2020

Yes, always be sure to show up and fight them as they are always trying to get default judgments, that is their game mainly. Also, they bought the debt, they need to prove they have ownership of the debt and are the rightful person to collect upon it, can they prove they are the owner and the debt... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: I backed into a woman’s bumper with my mother’s vehicle, can my mother be sued?

So I am technically on an expired license, and the lady also does not have a valid driver’s license, so she did not call the police. This happened in a parking lot of a convenience store. No police reports filed. Info exchanged (my phone number and ID) and she took a photo of the license plate. I... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jun 26, 2020

Sure, you and probably your mother can be sued. You should immediately notify your mother's insurance carrier.

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: We purchased a foreclosed house, but are unsure if we need to send a 3 day notice for eviction.

We recently purchased a foreclosed property in Palm Beach County, Florida. There are squatters currently occupying the house, and we are attempting to evict them. We were issued a self service packet with forms for unlawful detainers. The forms mention nothing regarding a 3 day notice, nor do they... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jun 22, 2020

No; unlawful detainer actions don't require 3-day notice as otherwise required by Florida Statute 83.56 (3). Florida Statute 82.03 provides that

"... (1) A person entitled to possession of real property, including constructive possession by a record titleholder, has a cause of...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: I am trying to get a professional opinion on a Fair Use project

I posted a Fair Use project on the internet using other's copyrighted content. I got a response from the original copyright holder saying that what I made isn't Fair Use and that I should take it down. I agreed, but only under the condition that I reevaluate my Fair Use project and get a... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jun 17, 2020

If what you posted was a copyright infringement (and not protected by "fair use"), it's not negotiable. If you don't take it down, he can sue you. And it's not "small claims" either, by the way.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: A debt collector is suing me for a student loan from 2010. When I checked my credit report, that account doesn't show
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jun 11, 2020

Maybe the credit reporting agency missed it somehow. But what is your question. It appears that there may be a statute of limitations issue; when did you last make a payment?

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Dad died verbal give house mom verbal agree House mine. I have recording. Mom want to evict.
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Jun 5, 2020

Verbal is not written and it is not a Will or Trust and it is not a deed and it is not even what Florida Intestate Statutes (without a Will) state. I think you have a real problem here as parents are allowed to change their mind and verbal promises and change their estate planning Will, etc.,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Can we use power company for telling us tree wouldn't fall in his power lines that did fall and crushed our selling barn

The power company guy said the tree wouldn't fall, but it did and it destroyed our place of business.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jun 1, 2020

Did the power company have a responsibility to do something about the tree?

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Can a friend sue me for failure to repay a loan without a contract or any signed document?

I live in Florida and borrowed money from a friend in California. I borrowed the money to downsize from a home to a more affordable apartment. I had every intention of repaying the loan however the Pandemic has killed my job. Can my friend take me to small claims court and sue me for the money? We... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on May 30, 2020

Yes, your friend can sue you for what you borrowed. A written contract is not required and a text message is a writing in any event. It is very unlikely that you can be prosecuted, if what you mean by that is being charged with a crime. And a judge doesn't decide if you can repay, the judge... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: I sued someone in small claims they settled in mediation i filed a default it was granter and im not sute what to do now

They were supposed to return a fact sheet in so many days and didnt as well

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on May 28, 2020

If the judgment debtor failed to return the fact information sheet as ordered, file a motion that they be held in contempt of court.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Municipal Law and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: We are an HOA in Florida many properties adjoining the golf course.

Many golfers encroach on private property of homeowners imposing on their privacy and at times damaging property. How can we mitigate that? Fines? Civil Tickets? The course is owned by the City. Thank you.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on May 26, 2020

"No trespassing" signs would be a start.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: My roommate is listed as "Primary" and I'm listed as "Co-applicant" on our lease agreement e-signatures. She may

cause us to get evicted because of her exotic animals which are against the least agreement. Will the eviction negatively impact my credit score or anything else of mine? Also, if I chose to move out right now, instead of when our lease ends, will i have any liability. I can prove the that the... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 10, 2020

If your roommate gets you guys evicted neither of you should be liable for whatever unpaid rent. If your roommate leaves both of you are liable for the remaining rent; and you must pay all of it yourself. If you leave the same is true for her.

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1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: is it suspicious if a lawyer tells you that the defendant will pay for his fees in a contingency agreement in Florida?

There was an event a couple months ago where my car illegally got towed and I was forced to sign a contract to get it back. I hired a lawyer on a contingency fee agreement. An agreement that also included the defendant paying the lawyer fees if we win. Recently my lawyer notified me that the case... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Apr 16, 2020

Normally, before a case is settled your attorney would get settlement approval from you. Did your attorney contract give your attorney settlement authority or did the attorney ask you to approve the proposed settlement?

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: I have Friends A, B, and C who are all on a lease agreement for a townhome. Friend A had a girlfriend. She won’t leave.

As far as I know, Friend A invited her over and it was during her stay that they broke up. Friend B and C do not want her there anymore, and as far as I know neither does Friend A. Is it still possible for Friends B and C to issue a trespass claim to the ex? And is it possible because of the... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Apr 10, 2020

I believe all three tenants (A, B, and C) would have to join in a lawsuit to evict A's ex-girlfriend. If, by "trespass claim", you mean reporting an allegation of criminal conduct to the proper authorities, I doubt that the police or state's attorney would prosecute.

4 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Does successfully cashing a previously bounced NSF debtor's check during a ch7 bankruptcy violate the automatic stay?

My Ex took $1000 that did not belong to her. She claims the taking was in error. She wrote a check to repay the $1000 which bounced due to NSF. She told me she was stopping payment on the check and filing bankruptcy. She demanded I return the check to her. I refused unless she signed a payment... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Mar 17, 2020

It appears to me that, since you didn't know if the bankruptcy filing when you cashed the check, you have not violated the automatic stay.

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