Collier County Clerk of the Circuit Court
Civil Department
3315 Tamiami Trail East, Ste. 102
Naples, FL 34112-5324
Phone: (239) 252-2646
Email: Civil Department

Small Claims

General Information

A small claims case is a legal action filed in county court to settle minor legal disputes among parties where the dollar amount involved is $8,000 or less, excluding costs, interest, and attorneys’ fees. A small claims action begins by filing a Statement of Claim. These cases are heard by a Judge and usually there is not a jury.

Small Claims Flow Chart

Who Can Sue?

  • Anyone 18 years of age or older
  • A parent or legal guardian on behalf of anyone under 18 years of age
  • Anyone having a claim that does not exceed $8,000

If you have been served with a lawsuit filed by a company or person for a debt, you have the right to your day in court. It is important to respond to the lawsuit. If you do not attend a court hearing(s), a judgment will probably be entered against you.

Filing A Claim

You may file in person, by mail or e-file at https://www.myflcourtaccess.com/default.aspx. All necessary forms & filing fees must be included when you file. The Statement of Claim form must be typed or printed in black ink. The plaintiff is the person filing the lawsuit. The person(s) or business being sued is the defendant.

The statement of claim form must be fully completed and signed. Specify whether you are an individual doing business under a fictitious name and sign where indicated. Indicate if you are suing as a corporation; have the form signed by an officer of the corporation or its attorney. You must have the defendant’s complete name and street address (not a post office box).

If the defendant is a corporation, provide the name of an officer or registered agent of the corporation so that the summons can be served. Information about corporations is available from the Secretary of State, Corporation Filing Division, Tallahassee, FL 32304, by phone: (850) 488-9000, or on the internet at www.sunbiz.org.

If your claim is based on written documentation, attach it to the original Statement of Claim form.

Serving The Summons

After filing, each person or business being sued must be served with a summons/notice to appear in court on a date and time scheduled when the initial claim was filed. The Plaintiff shall furnish identical copies of all documents filed with the Clerk for each defendant being sued to the proper Sheriff’s Department’s Civil Process. The summons can be served by the sheriff, a process server or by certified mail by a Deputy Clerk for a fee for each defendant served. Certified mail through the Clerk’s Office (only) can be used when the defendant resides in Florida. If the defendant refuses the certified mail, the pretrial conference will be delayed until the summons can be served.

If you want the sheriff’s department to serve a summons in Collier County, FL call (239) 252-0888 for details or visit their website at: https://www.colliersheriff.org/community-resources/we-can-help/civil-process.

Pre-Trial Conference

The court will schedule an initial pretrial conference for the parties to mediation and potentially resolve the case. Your case will either be resolved with a Mediation Agreement or will be set for trial on the judge’s trial docket. The pre-trial conference will be scheduled within 50 days from the date the claim was filed. Appearance at the pre-trial is mandatory. A corporation may be represented at any stage of the trial by an officer of the corporation or any employee authorized by an officer of the corporation.

If the defendant has not been served the summons, the pre-trial conference will be cancelled and rescheduled only if you provide additional information so that the summons can be served.

If there is more than one defendant and at least one of the defendants has been served, the pre-trial will be heard against the served defendant only. If the other defendant(s) are served at a later date, another pre-trial date will be scheduled against that defendant(s).

Trial By Jury

Jury trials may be had upon written demand of the plaintiff at the time of the commencement of the suit, by the defendant within five days after the date of service or at the pre­trial conference. Otherwise, jury trial shall be deemed waived.

Obtaining A Judgment

The Judge will listen to both sides of the story, review the evidence, and hear any witness testimony, if any, before making a decision.

The court cannot collect money damages for you. You may wish to consult with an attorney for advice on how to collect a judgment.

You Are Now Leaving Our Website

Links to external, or third-party websites, are provided solely for visitors’ convenience. Following links to other sites is done so at your own risk and the owners of this website accept no liability for any linked sites or their content. Any link from our site to an external website does not imply that we endorse or accept any responsibility for its use. It is important for users to take necessary precautions, especially to ensure appropriate safety from viruses, worms, trojans, and other potentially destructive items. Users should review the privacy policies of external websites and other terms of use to learn more about what, why, and how they collect and use any personally identifiable information.