When it comes to small claims court, things just got bigger: The small claims court used to allow cases with up to $5,000 in damages, and it now will allow cases up to $8,000.
The change was nearly three decades in the making. Bryant Acevedo, of the Miami-Dade Office of Consumer Protection, celebrated the new rule.
“I think it will help people out,” Acevedo said, adding “the rules, the procedure, the forms; everything has stayed the same. The only difference is you can file for up to $8,000.”
The Miami-Dade Office of Consumer Protection hosts free small claims court clinics to educate consumers on the pros and cons of filing a case. The next free clinic is Feb. 6 at 12 p.m. at the South Dade Government Center, 10710 SW 211 St., Room 104. There is also a clinic scheduled for June 4 at 12 p.m. at the Overtown Transit Village, 701 NW 1st Court in the second floor’s training room.
“It’s a simplified process. You do not need the assistance of an attorney, so for folks going into this, pro se, on their own it’s easier for them," Acevedo said.
The court jurisdictional changes also require filers to include a civil cover sheet specifying the dollar amount in dispute in cases exceeding $8,000.
The new law maintains current rules that limit the provision of subsidized court mediation services to county court cases with an amount in controversy up to $15,000.
The appeals of county court orders or judgments with an amount in controversy greater than $15,000 will be heard by the district courts of appeal until Jan. 1, 2023, when the provision repeals.
Other jurisdictional thresholds are also increasing the amount. County court jurisdictional thresholds increased to $30,000 and to $50,000 on Jan. 1, 2023.
For more information, visit the Florida Courts site.