Who Can Sue in Small Claims Court in Florida
If you are at least 18 years old (or an emancipated minor), you can file a claim in small claims court. Associations, partnerships, and corporations are typically allowed to bring actions in small claims court, but check with your small claims court clerk for special rules, such as restrictions on lawsuits filed by collection agencies.
Dollar Limit on Florida Small Claims Cases
To bring your case in small claims court in Florida, you must be seeking to recover $5,000 or less. If you want to sue for more than the limit, you have to go to a different court, which may not be worth it given the complicated rules and costs of hiring an attorney.
Suing for Something Other Than Money
With a few exceptions, small claims courts in Florida can only award money, up to the $5,000 limit. If you need an order to make someone do (or stop doing) something, other courts are available. For example, if you want to file for divorce or seek higher child support, you will need to go to a family law court.
Deadline for Filing a Small Claims Case in Florida
Under Florida state law (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 95.011 et. seq.), there are limits (called statute of limitations) on the amount of time you have to bring a lawsuit. The statute of limitations for most cases in Florida is either four or five years, depending on the type of case and contract. You can consult an attorney if you’ve missed the deadline and still want to pursue legal action, although there are very limited situations when you might be able to do so.
Filing a Small Claims Suit in Florida
The first step in filing a small claims case is to obtain and fill out the necessary forms and pay the required fees. You’ll need some basic information to complete the paperwork, like the name and address of the person or business you’re suing (the defendant) and some details about your claim including the date the claim arose and the amount you intend to ask for in damages. Check with the small claims court where you are filing your action to make sure you have all the information you need and fees required to start your lawsuit.
Most small claims actions are filed in the small claims court in the county and state where the person being sued lives, or where the business is located if the defendant is a business. Rules about where you can bring your lawsuit vary depending on the situation and you may have other choices, such as filing where the incident giving rise to the claim occurred.