Attorney Hints

CIRCUIT CIVIL / COUNTY CIVIL / SMALL CLAIMS

 

WHAT KIND OF CASES ARE PROCESSED IN THE CIVIL DIVISION?
Circuit Civil cases are cases with claims in excess of $15,000.01
County Civil cases are cases with claims of more than $5,000.01 but less than $15,000.
Small Claims cases are cases with claims of up to and including $5,000.00.

WHERE CAN I FILE A CIVIL CASE?
According to rule 2.025 cases and pleadings should be filed in the location where they occurred.
The guidelines are as follows:

Lower Keys, including the City of Key West to the west end of Spanish Harbor Bridge is served by the Monroe County Courthouse in Key West. (MM1-34.5)

Middle Keys, beginning at the west end of Spanish Harbor Bridge to the east end of the Channel Five (5)Bridge. This includes the city of Marathon, Key Colony Beach and Layton. This area is served by the Marathon Branch Courthouse. (MM35-69.5)

Upper Keys, beginning at the east end of Channel Five (5) Bridge and including Key Largo. This includes Islamorada Village of Islands, and that portion of Monroe County situated upon the mainland of Florida. This area is served by the Branch Courthouse located in the Upper Keys Government Center at Plantation Key. (MM70-113)

Key West Courthouse
500 Whitehead Street
Key West, FL  33040
305-294-4641
Marathon Branch Courthouse
3117 Overseas Highway
Marathon, FL  33050
305-289-6027
Upper Keys Gov't Center
88820 Overseas Highway
Plantation Key, FL  33070
305-852-7145
Clerk of Court
50 High Point Road
Plantation Key, FL  33070

ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR DOCUMENTS FILED?
There are several requirements imposed by laws, rules, and orders, which are summarized here.

PLEADINGS/DOCUMENTS:
Complete Case Number must be on all pleadings. Style of Orders/Pleadings must be clearly titled to clearly indicate the subject matter of the document.  A Civil Cover Sheet is required at the time of initial complaint or petition. Final Disposition Forms are required to be filed by prevailing party along with Order of Judgment disposing of action. 

SUBPOENAS:
Notice of Taking or Production of Documents required to be filed  if applicable, when a party is seeking inspection and copying of any documents on things within the scope of RULE 1.350(a). Civil Rules of  Procedure service charges include Clerk's service charges for issuance of subpoena and sheriff's service fee if service by sheriff  is requested.

BONDS:
Cashier checks, money orders or cash are required for all bonds posted with the Clerk EXCEPT for Non-Resident Cost Bonds which can be posted with a check from attorney's firm.   Surety Bonds - must be signed and sealed by a registered agent in the State of Florida. The bond amount must be double the amount listed in the complaint.  Surety bond approval - requires a service charge for approval on all bonds posted with the exception of Replevin and Receiver bonds.

COURT REGISTRY:
Deposits - requested to be in form of cashier's check, money order or cash. Cashier checks and money orders to be made payable to Clerk of the Circuit Court. Deposit Fee - required on each deposit in the court registry.  Unless authorized by statute a court order is required to deposit funds in the court registry.  A court order is required to disburse funds.

FAX COPIES:
(Limit 2 pages)   Available upon receipt of a written request if requestor has active, established deposit account with funds available.   Pleadings-may be filed by fax, but original hard copy required to be deposited with or, mailed to the Clerk's Office.

MISCELLANEOUS:
Publication - when required, provide name of newspaper to be used for publication.   Final Judgments Address include address of property from which person is being evicted - Match address on Writs of Possession to address in Final Judgment Specify exact judgment or final Order when requesting a lien for a case with more than one judgment or lien.

Multiple Case Numbers - show all case numbers on all related pleadings.  Provide sufficient copies of original pleadings or documents for each case file when multiple case numbers shown on the pleading or document.  Highlight the case number for each case file.

MAIL:
Include self-addressed envelope with postage for return of copies.  Designate applicable department in SEND TO address line on all mail.  Include applicable case number on certified mail receipts sent in as proof of service

ESCROW ACCOUNTS:
A deposit account is a sum of money deposited in an account with the Clerk of the Circuit Court to cover searches, copy costs, recording costs, etc. For information on how to establish an account, contact Recording Division, 305-292-3540.

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