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Florida Small Claims Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Civil Litigation for Florida on
Q: What motion is recommended when I missed a civil court date? Pro se defendant & didn't receive e-notice of hearing date.

I am representing myself as Defendant in a civil lawsuit brought on by a construction contractor. I had filed a Motion to Dismiss in July 2023. The hearing for my Motion was rescheduled repeatedly by the court. I did not receive notice for the rescheduled date (2/12/24), missed the hearing, and my... View More

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Feb 22, 2024

You could call your motion "Motion to set Aside Order Denying Motion to Dismiss", or something like that. It doesn't much matter what you call it; more important is that you clearly state what you want and why. Contact the judge's judicial assistant for a date and time for the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Public Benefits, Small Claims and Social Security for Florida on
Q: I am over $4K in SSI debt to the SSA because my payee failed to keep my assets below $2K for 5 months in 2021 and 2022.

My representative payee has admitted in an email to me that the "oversight" was their responsibility. I am interested in obtaining an attorney for representation in getting my payee to pay the $4K+ to the SSA so that my monthly SSI benefits are no longer reduced, which they currently are,... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 23, 2024

Facing an overpayment situation with SSI due to the actions of your representative payee can be challenging. In your case, since your payee has admitted responsibility for the oversight, you have grounds to seek a resolution where the payee assumes the financial burden of the overpayment.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: What action can be taken if the business would not provide an address where a summons could be served?

I began a small claims action against a defendant for work done cleaning the roof of my home, which damaged the gutters. The server said the address I provided had no such business, but that he made phone contact with an individual at the business who would not provide a business address where... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jan 23, 2024

In Florida, a business entity can be served either by serving its registered agent for service of process or by serving the person holding one of the positions within the entity that are specified by statute. You can search for the names of such individuals and the address where each can be served... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: What are our options and does she have any grounds to stand on?

We just recently got a gift from my mother. Which whom we don't speak with due to family issues. About a month ago my mom sent an email aski if we wanted to take her 9 month old puppy as she no longer wants to keep her or take care of her. After my wife and I spoke, we decided to make... View More

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Jan 7, 2024

You might want to send her a letter setting forth your version of what happened, as you have described here. Attach any documentation, including the email she sent you. If in fact she does consult with attorneys for the purpose of taking you to court, and that is by no means a foregone... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Can I pay the amount of a debt direct to the court after received the final judgment and. Notify the counter-part?

Is it necessary to fill form 7.343 form requested in the final judgment?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Dec 14, 2023

Yes, you can either pay the judgment amount into the registry of the court or to the plaintiff's attorneys of record. You should ask for a satisfaction of judgment and, when you have that, you wouldn't have to complete and return the fact information sheet.

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Is a Motion for Summary Judgement allowed in Florida small claims court? If so, is an answer required?
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Dec 2, 2023

Though you can file any motion you feel like filing, a small claims court judge is not supposed to use the summary judgment motion procedures that are set forth in the Fla. Rules of Civil Procedure unless those rules have been invoked by court order. The reason small claims court exists is to have... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Are there any lawyers in Florida that can help me prepare a complaint and a demand letter for Small Claims court

I live in Sarasota County Florida. I have a very good countersuit against American Express. I would prefer to find a lawyer that would take this potential Identify theft by an AMEX employee along with provable fraud on the Loan Agreement (Forgery or falsification of the form etc) on a contingency... View More

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Nov 10, 2023

Sure, there are some lawyers handling general practice or general civil litigation who can advise you on how to represent yourself in small claims court, including assisting the the forms. Searching for "lawyers" "small claims" "[your location]" would be a start.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Can I get compensation for fixing and buying my own garbage disposal?

Hello! My leasing office has taken a week to fix a broken garbage disposal and I called yesterday to come fix it they have not. My Sink is extremely backed up.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Oct 23, 2023

In Florida, landlords are generally required to maintain the rental property in a habitable condition. If the broken garbage disposal is causing your sink to be backed up and rendering it unusable, it may be considered a necessary repair. Before taking matters into your own hands, it's... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Small Claims and Personal Injury for Florida on
Q: can you sue in small claims court Florida for events created leading up to an injury
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Sep 15, 2023

You inquiry is vague as to what you mean by "events created...". If you have been damaged/injured by the unlawful act of another, you can sue in small claims court for up to $8,000 plus court costs, and in some types of cases, attorney's fees and prejudgment interest are awardable... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Small Claims and Personal Injury for Florida on
Q: can you sue in small claims court Florida for events created leading up to an injury
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Sep 16, 2023

My colleague raises a valid point - "events created leading up to an injury" is generally not a concept used to support a tort claim for injury. Instead, a wrongdoer's actions or inactions are more often characterized as having a "causal connection" or being the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: I filed a small claims suit and it was accepted by the court seven weeks ago. Should I know my court date by now?

The defendant and I are both located in Florida. I filed a small claims court suit seven weeks ago and it was accepted. I paid court fees already. I have received no information since filing. Is this normal? Am I just waiting to get my court date?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Aug 20, 2023

You need to get the clerk of court to issue a summons which will set a date and time for a pretrial conference (i.e.: the "court date"). You need to get this served (by the sheriff's department or a process server) on the defendant.

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1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: i let a friend use my credit card and agreed for her to pay me back soon after, 9 months later and she hasn’t paid

a friend asked me for a favor to let them use my best buy credit to buy a laptop for their son that is going to college, i reluctantly allowed her to after asking me many times. She was my boss at my job at the time and i felt pressured to do her the favor. We agreed on paying me back a month or... View More

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Aug 17, 2023

You could sue her in small claims court, but even if you get a judgment, collecting it may be difficult. So, accept what she pays you, but be sure to keep written, signed and dated documentation, including a payment agreement, receipts, etc.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Consumer Law for Florida on
Q: Can I sue an automotive manufacturer in small claims court in Florida to obtain the service history for my vehicle?

Can I sue an automotive manufacturer in small claims court in Florida to obtain the service record history for my vehicle? The automotive manufacturer claims that the service history of the used vehicle I now own is "proprietary." I understand they need to protect the previous... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Aug 17, 2023

There is no law which entitles you to obtain the service record of a used car from the manufacturer. Moreover, a manufacturer likely only has records for warranty and recall service. It is unlikely any service record it maintains is complete.

Many dealerships and auto service companies...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Mechanic performed work to my car I did not authorize. Why do all lawyers I contact say they can’t take my case?

On May 28th I purchased a vehicle for $15,900 (Including tax & tags) from a used dealership. Paid in full, no warranty. 6 days later on 6/6, the vehicle broke down. I had the vehicle towed back to the dealer, and told them to have their mechanic “look at it, and let’s figure out a way to... View More

Jane Kim
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answered on Aug 15, 2023

There’s a clear violation of Florida law that requires auto ships to issue invoices and authorization in writing prior to work being performed. The problem is the amount in controversy is not so high for legal fees. Maybe you could get a later draft a complaint for you and you take it through... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets, Appeals / Appellate Law, Civil Rights and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Can a judge refuse to see documents that shows evidence and causes of actions that where authorized by JSO

Being sued for property damages that where authorized y Sheriffs office in Jacksonille Fl.Judge did not allow me to defend myself or show documentations that showed the reason of my actions....its was put boots on truck while was asleep

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Jul 28, 2023

In order to receive advice on whether the judge acted properly or improperly in your case, as well as what can be done if the he/she acted improperly, you need to schedule a consultation with an attorney. Whether a judge can refuse to review items of evidence depends on various factors, including... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Florida on
Q: I won a case against a company in small courts, they won't pay me. What should I do next?

I sued a Pool company in small claims and won the case but they won't pay me. I filed a judgment lean but I don't know what to do with it and want to know how I can get paid, I tried contacting some lawyers but they won't accept my case.

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jul 6, 2023

It is unusual that you are unable to locate a lawyer willing to take your case. There are many, many attorneys who practice in the area of collections, and collecting a judgment is a typical bread-and-butter type of case for most.

Search for an attorney who practices in the area of law...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Libel & Slander and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: How long do I have to file a lawsuit or small claims against law enforcement after an arrest?

Recently I've been arrested and detained and the police have lied and muted out parts of the video and blotted out parts of the video during my arrest and did not show everything on the video and I'm trying to figure out how I can go about things because it has cost me a lot.

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Jun 30, 2023

I will give you general educational info regarding time periods that often apply to this kind of situation; neither I nor any other attorney can give you any legal advice in this online forum regarding the deadlines or procedures that apply to your potential particular claims (because that would... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Can I sue in small claims courts?

Hello I bought a cockapoo from a private breeder, the puppy started having seizures 3 days after we got him the veterinary believes it was due the pup glucose levels being too low but he couldn't really say for sure. we asked the breeder to go half on the vet bill and they said no, can we sue them?

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Jun 30, 2023

Yes, but only if you first comply with the presuit procedures of Fla. Statutes Section 828.29, also called the "Puppy Lemon Law", which is online, and which you must read. The first important portion for you starts at Sub-section (5), which provides: "If, within 14 days following... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Business Law for Florida on
Q: In the State of FL can a business owner designate himself as officer on the "Authorization of Corporate Officer" form?

The defendant in my lawsuit is "Jane Doe, (D/B/A Jane Doe Services, LLC)". After no agreement was come to in mediation the judge sent an order to the defendant stating they must hire counsel or file a designation of corporate officer. The defendant filled the form out, signed it and... View More

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Jun 29, 2023

If it's legitimately a limited liability company, it's unclear why you included "Jane Doe" as the defendant. Unless you have cause to believe that you can "pierce the corporate veil" (in other words get the court to hold "Jane Doe" individually liable), you... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: Can a Statement of Claim in Replevin be filed to get an item to be used as evidence in a related Small Claim?

The item is a $2 tool with sentimental value to the Plaintiff, was used in service to the Defendant, was used to provide a more valuable service, probably why Defendant is detaining the tool. Plaintiff suing for payment of service. Would the Statement of Claim and the Statement of Claim in... View More

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Apr 9, 2023

The order in which you put the allegations of your statement of claim probably doesn't make any difference. But if you want to use the tool as evidence at the trial you should probably bring this up at the pretrial conference (or mediation, of mediations are used in your county) so that the... View More

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