We hope you find this web page helpful and informative in learning more about the Duval County Civil Department and the kinds of cases we can help you with. If you would like additional information, please feel free to call us at (904) 255-2000.
In many civil legal matters, it's helpful to understand the difference between the County Court and the Circuit Court. The County Court handles civil legal matters that involve sums of money that are not more than $15,000.00. Claims that are more than $5,000.00 but less than $15,000.00 are called county civil actions.
The Circuit Court, on the other hand, takes care of civil cases involving sums of more than $15,000. The Circuit Court also handles cases in equity, actions involving the title and boundaries of real property, injunctions, and all civil matters that do not fall under the jurisdiction of the County Court.
Most disputes between landlords and tenants are heard by County Court.
Cases filed pursuant to the Florida Rules of Summary Procedure are categorized as summary claims, formerly known as Small Claims.
As mentioned above, the County Civil Department processes cases involving monetary disputes from $5,000.01 to $15,000.00. This includes the following:
- Declaratory judgments
- Foreclosures (less than $15,000)
- Breach of contract
- Other matters where a Plaintiff may be made whole by receiving a money judgment
For those filing legal documents, the County Civil Department provides customer service both in person at our office and over the telephone. However, please keep in mind that it is against the law for the Clerk’s Office to provide legal advice. Those needing legal assistance may wish to speak to an attorney.
Filing a Complaint
When filing a Complaint, please be specific about the amount of damages you are seeking. For instance, you might list damages that are more than $2,500 but less than $5,000. Or you could specify damages that are greater than $5,000 but no more than $15,000. This will help the clerk determine how to file the claim. It could be filed as a Small Claim, in which a pre-trial date will be included as part of the Small Claims Summons. Or it could be filed as a Civil Action, in which a standard 20-day summons will be issued.
Filing for Eviction
A legal action involving a dispute between a landlord and a tenant applies to the rental of a non-commercial dwelling units either with or without a rental agreement. It involves an action filed by a landlord against a tenant for common disputes dealing with the payment of rent and/or non-compliance or breach of a lease or rental agreement.
You can find general information on landlord/tenant actions in Florida Statutes Chapter 83. Landlord actions typically involve non-payment of rent and the recovery of possession of the rental property. You should carefully review this section of the law before starting any legal action.
If you are filing for an eviction, you may purchase the appropriate form packets at the courthouse or download them from this page. Please see the Fees Schedule below for the current filing fee and accepted forms of payment. Please keep in mind that the Clerk’s Office cannot provide legal advice or any assistance with the completion of forms.
The Steps of an Eviction
- Eviction Notices
(3)THREE DAY NOTICE FOR NON-PAYMENT OF RENT:
The landlord must provide a (3)three-day notice of eviction, informing the tenant(s) that he or she must pay the rent due or move out of the premises. When calculating time, do not include the day of delivery, weekends or holidays. The notice may be posted on the door of the rental property or hand delivered to the tenant(s). If the tenant(s) does not comply with the notice in the time stated in the notice, the landlord may file an eviction complaint with the clerk. A copy of the (3) three-day notice must accompany the complaint at the time of filing.
(15 and 7) DAY NOTICE TO QUIT:
A 15 day notice is given when the rent is payable monthly and the landlord wishes to terminate the rental agreement for non-compliance.
A 7 day notice is given when the rent is payable week to week and the landlord wishes to terminate the rental agreement for non-compliance.
(7) SEVEN DAY NOTICE OF NON-COMPLIANCE:
If there is a rental agreement and the tenant(s) are in violation of it (other than for non-payment of rent), the landlord may give the tenant(s) a (7) seven-day non-compliance notice. The notice gives the tenant(s) (7) seven-days to either fix the violation or move out, or the rental agreement may be terminated. A copy of the non-compliance notice must accompany the complaint at the time of filing. Examples of such noncompliance include, but are not limited to, activities in contravention of the lease or this part such as having or permitting unauthorized pets, guests, or vehicles; parking in an unauthorized manner or permitting such parking; or failing to keep the premises clean and sanitary.
- Filing Your Complaint for Eviction
If you are a landlord filing a complaint for eviction, please compile the items listed below and file the complaint with the clerk. Be sure to make copies of all the forms and paperwork for your records. Also, please provide a telephone number on your complaint in case the Clerk's Office or the Sheriff's Office needs to contact you.
- Serving of the Summons on the Tenant
Once served, the tenant must comply with the instructions on the summons. She or he must file an original answer to your summons with the clerk, providing copies to you within five days of receipt of the summons, not including weekends or legal holidays.
- Getting Judgment for Eviction
If the tenant does not respond, you may complete and file a motion for default, a motion for final judgment and the final judgment, provided in the Landlord/Tenant packet. The court will review the pleadings and may do one of the following: set the case for hearing, enter an order based upon the pleadings or grant the landlord possession of the property. If the tenant files an answer to your summons and deposits the funds that are due into the court registry, the court may schedule your case for a hearing.
- Obtaining Writ/Warrant of Possession
If the tenant does not move out of the property after the final judgment has been entered, you will need to request a writ of possession from the clerk. You can do this by mail or in person. The Sheriff requires a fee to serve the writ of possession. Please see the Fees Schedule below for the current fees.
Viewing Case Information
Every document filed in a case will be entered into the Case Docket. For your convenience, case information can be easily accessed online through the Clerk Online Resource ePortal (CORE). If you have question or concerns about CORE, please feel free to email the CORE Helpdesk at CORE@duvalclerk.com.
Electronic filing (e-Filing) is now required for attorneys throughout Florida. For more information about e-filing, please visit the E-filing Portal. If you need assistance getting started, we invite you to email the Clerk’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filing Documents Without an Attorney
If you are not relying on an attorney and are representing yourself, you have the option of filing documents electronically online using the statewide e-filing portal at www.myflcourtaccess.com. The portal is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to file documents. Of course, e-filing is not required for self-represented parties; the Clerk’s Office will continue to accept paper filings from those representing themselves.
Landlord/Tenant eviction forms and instructions are included in the Eviction Packets below, which are available to download free of charge.
- Eviction Packet for Failure to Pay Rent Only, (no back rents sought)
- Eviction Packet for Failure to Pay Rent and Damages (Back rents & other damages)
- Eviction Packet for Non-Compliance (Other than Failure to Pay Rent)
You can also purchase Eviction Packets by visiting the Clerk’s Office.
- Eviction Packet for Failure to Pay Rent Only (no back rents sought) $2.00
- Eviction Packet for Failure to Pay Rent and Damages (Back rents & other damages) $3.00
- Eviction Packet for Non-Compliance (Other than Failure to Pay Rent) $2.00
IMPORTANT: Confidential Information within Court Filings
Please be advised that the Florida Supreme Court has substantially amended Rule 2.420 (Public Access to Judicial Branch Records) in SC11-2466. The Rule involves procedures regarding confidentiality of Court records and requires filers to notify the Clerk of confidential information contained in any filings. The amendment was effective May 1, 2013 and may be accessed at the following website link.
Please take special notice that the Court may impose sanctions under Rule 2.420 (i) for non-compliance.
For your convenience, an interactive form for providing notice of confidential information within court filings is available by following the link below.
- - Notice of Confidential Information Within Court Filing (Civil)
- - Notice of Confidential Information Within Court Filing (Criminal)
Documents & Publications
- - Eviction Packet for Failure to Pay Rent and Damages (Back Rent)
- - Eviction Packet for Failure to Pay Rent Only (No Back Rent Sought)
- - Eviction Packet for Non-compliance (Other Than Failure to Pay Rent)
- - Small Claims Packet
- - Notice of Legal Assistance Regarding Collection Cases
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are County Civil / Small Claims hearings held?
They are held at the Duval County Courthouse, located at 501 West Adams Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32202.
Is there a fee required to record a notice of lis pendens in a new case?
Yes, the recording fee is $5 for the first page and $4 for each additional page. In addition, there is an indexing fee of $1 per name after the first four names.
Is there a fee to record a notice of dismissal and release of lis pendens (including cancellation of lis pendens, discharge of lis pendens, and release of lis pendens)?
Yes, the recording fee is $10 for the first page and $8.50 for each additional page. In addition, there is an indexing fee of $1 per name after the first four names.
How much does the Sheriff’s Office charge to serve a summons and complaint?
The charge is $40 per summons. The payment must be separate from other fees.
What happens if the defendant in a County Civil / Small Claims case cannot be located to be served with my complaint?
If the defendant has not been served with your complaint, your hearing date will be canceled. But your case will remain open for six months to give you time to locate the defendant and provide the court with another address for service. It’s important to make sure that the defendant is at the address you supply prior to filing your complaint.
Filing fees are non-refundable if the Sheriff’s Office cannot locate the defendant for you.
How will I know if a defendant in a County Civil / Small Claims case has been served?
By contacting the Sheriff's Office or your process server. You may also contact the Clerk's office at the address below.
If the defendant is not served in a County Civil / Small Claims case, are there additional fees due if I locate another address?
The Clerk’s Office charges a statutory summons-issuance fee of $10 per defendant. In addition, if you use the Sheriff’s Office for service, they will charge $40 to attempt service at another location.
Can an attorney appear in County Civil or Small Claims court?
Yes, even though attorneys are not required in small claims court, you or the opposing party may hire an attorney.
County Civil Department
Monday through Friday (excluding holidays): 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Duval County Clerk of Courts
Attn: COUNTY CIVIL DEPARTMENT
501 West Adams Street, Room 1046
Contact the County Civil Department
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Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.