Civil Actions Guidelines
WHAT KIND OF CASES ARE PROCESSED IN THE CIVIL DIVISION?
Circuit Civil cases are cases with claims in excess of $15,000. County Civil cases are cases with claims of more than $5,000, but less than $15,000.Small Claims cases are cases with claims of up to and including $5,000.
WHERE CAN I FILE A CIVIL CASE?New civil cases may be filed at the following Clerk's Office locations:
Seminole County Courthouse, 301 N. Park Avenue, Sanford, Florida, 32771-1243
East Branch Office, 376 Wilshire Boulevard, Wilshire Plaza, Casselberry, Florida 32707
West Branch Office, 995 S.R. 434 North, #403, Oak Groves Shoppes, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714
WHERE CAN I FILE SUBSEQUENT PLEADINGS?
Pleadings may be filed; Case numbers assigned; and, Summons issued at any Clerk's Office location.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR DOCUMENTS FILED?
There are several requirements imposed by laws, rules, and orders which are summarized here.
- Attorney's Bar Number - required on all documents.
- Style of Orders/Pleadings - must be clearly titled so as to indicate the subject matter of the document.
- Civil Cover Sheet - required at the time on initial complaint or petition is filed. Without a Civil Cover Sheet, all proceedings in the action will be abated until the cover sheet is filed.
- Final Disposition Form - required to be filed by prevailing party along with Order or Judgment disposing of action.
- Return of Transfers of Interests in Florida Real Property - required in order for a Certificate of Title to be recorded - must include a brief description of the property.
- A Notice of Taking Deposition; and, a Notice of Production of Non-Party (where applicable) must be filed with the Clerk before a Subpoena can be issued.
- Service Charges - Include Clerk's $4.00 service charges for preparation and issuance of each subpoena requested and, sheriff's service fee ($20.00 per each person served) if service by sheriff is requested. A separate check is required payable to: Donald F. Eslinger, Sheriff.
- Cashier checks or cash required for all bonds posted with the Clerk EXCEPT for Non-Resident Cost Bonds which can be posted with an attorney's Trust Account Check.
- Surety Bonds - must be signed and sealed by a registered agent in the State of Florida. Bond amount must be double the amount listed in the complaint or the amount set by court order.
- Surety bond approval - requires a $7.50 service charge for approval on all bonds posted.
- Deposits - accepted 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 is: 3 percent on first $500.00; 1.5 percent on each subsequent $100.00.
REGISTRY OF COURT PAYMENTS:
As a matter of policy, the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court will accept all manners and methods of payment (cash, check or money order) into the Registry of the Court. There are three exceptions:
- Out-of-state checks: No out-of-state checks shall be accepted;
- Landlord/tenant actions: No personal or business checks shall be accepted in connection with landlord/tenant actions; or,
- Imminent action: No personal, business or attorney's trust account checks shall be accepted without confirmation, if a court action or court ruling is imminent (if the case is schedules to be heard in seven working days or less).
- If a personal, business or attorney's trust account check is offered, and court action is imminent, the deputy clerk shall contact the bookkeeping department of the issuing financial institution to verify the availability of funds;
- If funds are not available, or if the financial institution is unable (due to the hour) to verify the availability of funds, the deputy shall contact the clerk, the chief deputy, or the director of clerk's finance before accepting or rejecting the payment; and,
- If the depositor is facing a court-ordered, same-day deadline for payment (check the file), and enforcement of this policy would lead to rejection of that payment, the deputy shall contact the clerk, the chief deputy, or the directory of clerk's finance before accepting or rejecting the payment.
- Pre-paid Service Charge - required to be charged for all copies faxed.
- Pleadings - may be filed by fax.
- Publication - when required, provide name of newspaper to be used for publication.
- Final Judgments
Social Security Number -
Include address and social security number (if known to the prevailing party) of each person against whom judgment is rendered.
- Writs of Possession
Address on all Writs of Possession must match address included in Judgment or Order.
- Provide Notice of Sale with judgment in mortgage foreclosure cases.
- 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
- Include self-addressed stamped envelope with any request for copies; or return of file information.
- Designate applicable department in address on all in-coming mail.
- Include applicable case number on certified mail receipts filed as proof of service.