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FAQs


 
CRIMINAL

HOW CAN I CHANGE MY COURT DATE?
    If your court date has been set, the Clerk’s Office cannot change it. If there is a problem with your date, you or your attorney should contact the Office of the Judge of the 20th Judicial Circuit assigned to your case and/or file the appropriate "Motion". 

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HOW CAN I FIND OUT ABOUT A CASE?
    You may obtain information by accessing Public Records at CollierClerk.com or by calling the Criminal Department at (239) 252-2646.

Due to the confidential nature of cases involving juveniles, information cannot be provided over the telephone.

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HOW CAN I PRESS CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST SOMEONE?
    The Collier County State Attorney's Office has authority to press criminal charges. Call the Office of the State Attorney at (239) 252-8470.

The Clerk of Court does not have the authority to file criminal charges.

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HOW DO I PAY RESTITUTION?
    Be sure to read your "Restitution Order", which will list the provisions regarding restitution payments.
 
If you are on probation or community control, contact your Probation or Community Control Officer for payment instructions. Call County Probation at (239) 252-8135 or State Probation (239) 417-6300.

If you are not on probation or community control and were ordered to make restitution payments to the Clerk of Court you can make them in person or by mail.

Please indicate what the payment is for ("restitution"), include your name and complete case number. Pay by Money Order, personal check (no two party checks), or bank draft only. Please add an additional charge for each disbursement. Do not send cash.

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CAN I TAKE CARE OF MY COURT CASE WITHOUT APPEARING IN COURT?
    If you were charged with any of the following crimes and you can show proof that the license/permit/registration/tag was valid at the time the citation was issued, your case will be dismissed for a fee.
        320.07 (3)(c)   Expired Registration of more than 6 months
        320.131 (3)    Temporary Tag Violation
        322.03 (3)   No Valid Drivers License
        322.03 (4)   No Motorcycle License
        322.34 (2)(a)   Drive While License Suspended/Revoked (only if suspension or revocation was due to failure to appear, failure to pay, or failure to complete school)
        327.395   Operate without Boater Safety ID Card
        328.46   Vessel Registration Violation
        328.48   Vessel Registration Violation (not including 328.48 (4))
        328.72 (13)   Expired registration Vessel
        327.57 (1)   No License, Permit or Authorization Number
        372.57 (3)   Fail to Possess License/Permit/Authorization Number
        372.5712   No Management Area Stamp
        372.5712 (1)   Hunting without a Waterfowl Stamp
             
 
    If you do not have a CDL license and you were charged with any of the following violations and you can show proof that you have renewed your license or registration, you can enter a plea of “no contest” with the Clerk.

You can use this option one (1) time in a 12 month period and up to three (3) times in your life time. This option can be exercised prior to your court date or at your arraignment. 
        The following offenses can be disposed of by signing an "Affidavit" and paying a fee for costs plus providing proof that you are now in compliance per Florida Statute (e.g. showing a valid driver’s license; a valid registration; and etc.).
         
        Driving while license suspended or revoked because:
        322.34 (2)(a)   Drive While License Suspended/Revoked (only if suspension or revocation was due to failure to appear, failure to pay, or failure to complete school)
        322.03   No valid driver’s license
        320.07(3)(c)   Expired tag more than 6 months
        322.03(5)   Expired driver’s license more than 4 months
        322.03(4)   No motorcycle license
        320.131   Temporary Tag violation
             


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WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I FAIL TO APPEAR IN COURT?
    The Court may issue a "Bench Warrant" for your arrest and enter an "Order of Bond Estreature", causing you to forfeit the money and/or collateral you posted for the bond. Additional penalties could also be imposed by the Court including losing your driving license.

Note: The Clerk’s Office cannot set-aside or recall a "Bench Warrant". Only the Courts have this authority.

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HOW CAN I GET A "CRIMINAL RECORDS" SEARCH & LETTER?
    A Collier County Criminal Records Search can be requested in person or by mail by contacting the Criminal Department. Payment for the record search must be received before the search is conducted. Check the fees for Criminal Records Search.

If the time period to be searched is not too extensive, and fewer than six (6) copies of the documents are requested, the service usually can be performed while the customer waits. If, however, the requested search time period is extensive and includes numerous documents, a one - two week time period is required. 

Note: A complete Criminal Records Search and letter must be obtained from the Sheriff’s Office or FDLE.

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WHAT ABOUT BOATING, FISHING, COUNTY & MUNICIPAL ORDINANCE VIOLATIONS (Beach, Noise, Litter, etc.) CIVIL INFRACTIONS ?
    These "Civil Infractions" are "payable" fines. You may pay the fine before your court date and not have to appear in court.

If you do not pay the fine before your scheduled court date, or you intend to contest the charge, you must appear in court at the designated time and place.

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HOW DO I REINSTATE MY DRIVER’S LICENSE ?
    If your driving privileges have been suspended for non-compliance as a result of a violation or charge in Collier County, the Clerk’s Office can reinstate your drivers license providing the Collier County suspension is the only open suspension on your driver’s license record at the time. A reinstatement fee is required.

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can also reinstate your license.

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WHAT IF I WANT AN ATTORNEY BUT CAN’T AFFORD ONE?
    To fill out an application to qualify for the services of a public defender go to the Collier County Courthouse Annex Customer Service Center located on the 1st Floor of the Collier County Courthouse Annex Building .

By law, the Clerk’s Office cannot provide you with legal advice or recommend a particular attorney.

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I AM A WITNESS IN A CRIMINAL CASE HOW CAN I OBTAIN INFORMATION?
    All questions regarding court appearances should be directed to the State Attorney or Public Defender.

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WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES FOR TOBACCO POSSESSION UNDER THE AGE OF 18 YEARS?
    On the first and second violations of this statute, a court appearance is not required if you meet the following conditions:

1st Violation – Before your scheduled court date, appear in person at the Criminal Division service counter and pay a fine or select to perform 16 hours community service plus take a tobacco awareness course.

2nd Violation – Before your scheduled court date, appear in person at Criminal Division service counter and pay a fine plus take a tobacco awareness course.

If you do not complete steps one or two above, you must appear in court on the scheduled date, time, and place.

3rd Violation requires a court appearance at the scheduled date, time, and place.

For a third or subsequent violation within 12 weeks of the first violation, the court must direct the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to withhold issuance of, or suspend or revoke the person’s driver’s license or driving privilege.

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WHAT ABOUT CODE ENFORCEMENT CITATIONS ?
    For Collier County Code violations contact:
Community Development
Code Enforcement Division
28 Horseshoe Drive North
Naples, Florida 34104
Telephone (239) 403-2400. 

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WHAT ARE MY PAYMENT OPTIONS?
   

Payment may be made to the Clerk of the Circuit Court by cash, personal check or money order (U.S. Funds only) by mail or in person.
You may also make payment at a one of the Clerk’s Satellite Offices.

Be sure to include the citation number, case number, your return address, and telephone number to ensure the payment is posted correctly. 


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COLLECTIONS

IS THE LETTER I RECEIVED FROM THE COLLECTIONS AGENCY LEGITIMATE OR IS THIS A SCAM?
    No, it is not a scam.

Per Florida Statute 28.246(6), the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Collier County has hired two outside collections agencies that are registered and in good standing with the State of Florida to work on our behalf to collect outstanding monies owed to the courts.

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WILL THIS AFFECT MY CREDIT? 
   

Possibly.  In order to answer that question you will need to contact the Collections Agency named in the letter you have received in the mail.


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WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT WAYS I CAN MAKE PAYMENT TO THE COLLECTIONS AGENCY?
    Payments can be made by telephone, online, or by mail directly with the Collections Agency identified in your letter.

Or you can pay your outstanding obligation in person to the collections agency representative at the Clerk's Office Customer Service Counter on the first floor of the Courthouse Annex.  Please bring your letter with you so you are sure of the correct amount and agency.

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WHAT FORMS OF PAYMENT ARE ACCEPTABLE?
    Payments can be made by using cash, check, money order or by using a debit/credit card.

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HOW DO I FIND OUT THE EXACT AMOUNT OWED?
   

To find out how much you owe click on the link below, read and accept the disclaimer, and then enter the party's name or case number to search Court Records.  After identifying the correct court record, click on the case or citation number and then the "financials" tab to locate the amount owed.

To calculate the total amount, using the amount under "financials", add an additional 32% service charge, all must be paid directly to the Collections Agency.

http://www.collierclerk.com/RecordsSearch/CourtRecords


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CAN I SET UP A PAYMENT PLAN?
    Yes.

If your case was assigned to Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson, however, you must first arrange for payments directly with the agency.  Later payments can then be made either in person at the Clerk of Courts Customer Service Counter on the first floor of the Courthouse Annex or directly with the agency.

If your case was assigned to Penn Credit, you can make arrangements by contacting them directly or talking to a collections representative at the Clerk's Office Customer Service Counter on the first floor of the Courthouse Annex.

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OFFICIAL RECORDS

HOW CAN I GET A COPY OF MY DEED?
    If you want a plain copy, you may print it from the website. If it must be a certified copy, send your request, including recording information and appropriate fees to the mailing address above.

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HOW CAN I GET A RECORD SEARCH COMPLETED?
    Send a written request that includes what you are searching for and which years you would like the search to include. Include payment with the appropriate fees.

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RECORDING

MAY I WRITE A CHECK FOR RECORDING FEES AND DOCUMENTARY STAMPS?
    Yes.

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SHOULD I USE A QUIT CLAIM OR WARRANTY DEED TO TRANSFER MY PROPERTY?
    You should consult an attorney as the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s staff cannot and will not provide legal advice.

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TAX DEEDS

CAN MY PROPERTY BE SOLD FOR UNPAID TAXES?
    YES. The Tax Deed properties are sold at a public auction to the highest bidder by the Clerks office

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WHO SELLS TAX CERTIFICATES?
    The Tax Collector’s Office sells tax certificates (usually at the end of May and beginning of June) for properties with unpaid taxes from the previous year.

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DO I NEED TO PRE-REGISTER FOR THE TAX DEED SALE?
    Yes. Immediately before the sale, bidders sign in the same way they want to take title and get a bidding card.

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WHAT HAPPENS TO PROPERTIES THAT DO NOT SELL AT THE TAX DEED SALE?
    If there are no bids on a property at the sale, the property is deeded to the certificate holder. If the certificate holder is the County, the property goes onto the Lands Available List. 
Once the property is placed on the Lands Available List, the County has 90 days to purchase the property. After 90 days, anyone may purchase these properties. 

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CAN I PREVENT MY PROPERTY FROM BEING SOLD AFTER TAX CERTIFICATES HAVE BEEN ISSUED?
    YES. Any person may REDEEM the property by paying all delinquent taxes and accrued fees prior to the issuance of the tax deed. Full payment must be made to the Tax Collector. This is normally done by the owner of the property because redeeming the property by paying the taxes only cancels the sale. It does not make you the owner of the property.

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HOW DO I KNOW WHAT PROPERTIES ARE FOR SALE?
    You may view the list of properties for sale (Upcoming Sales List and Lands Available List) along with sale dates on our website or in the Recording Department.

Notice of Tax Deed Sale for each property is published in the Naples Daily News once a week for four consecutive weeks. Notices are placed in the front section of the classified ads.

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WILL THE CLERK'S OFFICE TELL ME WHAT LIENS ARE ON A PROPERTY BEFORE I BUY IT?
   

The only information the Tax Deed Clerk has on properties is in the paper files, as provided by the Tax Collector’s Office. These files are available to the public before or after the sale.

Note: The opening bid is the total amount of all delinquent taxes, fees and interest accrued up until the time of the sale. This does not include any other liens, such as Special Assessments.


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IF I WIN THE BID, HOW LONG WILL IT BE BEFORE I OWN THE PROPERTY?
   

The purchaser of the property is issued a Tax Deed as soon as the full payment has been made. Once the tax deed is issued, it can no longer be redeemed.

Note: We strongly recommend that anyone interested in tax deed sales read Florida Statutes, Chapter 197.


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PASSPORTS

WHAT IF I NEED MY PASSPORT IN THE SHORTEST AMOUNT OF TIME?
   

You can expedite the passport process by using special mailers and paying additional fees as described above, under EXPEDITE.


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HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET MY PASSPORT?
   

Processing times have increased due to high volume. For more information see Passport Application Processing Time 


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HOW CAN I GET INFORMATION ABOUT THE STATUS OF MY PASSPORT?
   

By visiting the Department of State website or calling 1 (877) 487-2778


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MARRIAGE LICENSES

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR BECOMING ORDAINED, SO A PERSON CAN OFFICIATE A MARRIAGE?
   

The Clerk’s office does not have anything to do with the ordainment process or determine the legality of an officiate.
The officiate does not register with the Clerk’s office prior to solemnizing a marriage.  For legal advice, please consult an attorney


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CAN I GET MARRIED ANYWHERE IF WE GET AN APPLICATION FOR A MARRIAGE LICENSE IN COLLIER COUNTY?
   

Yes, anywhere in the state of Florida.


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CAN WE USE A MARRIAGE LICENSE ISSUED IN ANOTHER STATE TO GET MARRIED IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA?
    No.

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DO WE HAVE TO BE A RESIDENT OF COLLIER COUNTY TO APPLY FOR A MARRIAGE LICENSE?
    No.

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DO WE NEED AN APPOINTMENT TO GET A MARRIAGE LICENSE?
   

No, but it is recommended that all marriage ceremonies be scheduled by appointment.


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DO WE NEED BLOOD TEST TO GET A LICENSE?
    No.

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Small Claims

WHAT IS A SMALL CLAIMS CASE?
   

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 $5,000.00 or less, excluding costs, interest and attorney fees.


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DO I NEED A LAWYER?
   

No. Small Claims court is considered a "peoples court" and a lawyer is not required.

Clerk's Office personnel will provide necessary forms. for filing a Small Claims case, however, you may consult with an attorney if there are complex legal issues or questions.

The Clerk's Office does not provide legal advice.


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WHO CAN FILE A SMALL CLAIMS CASE?
   

A Any person eighteen (18) years or older or any individual(s) doing business as a company.

A parent or guardian may file on behalf of a minor child.


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WHAT IS THE COST OF FILING A SMALL CLAIMS CASE?
   

Filing fees are determined by Florida Statutes and vary in accordance with the dollar amount of the claim and type of action.

Other fees are required for service on the parties in the suit and are dependent on the type of service you select. Schedule of Service Charges are available


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WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED TO FILE A SMALL CLAIMS CASE?
   

You must file your claim against the right party so you must research the correct name of the individual, as it could make a difference in collecting a judgment in your favor.

A full explanation of your reason for the Small Claim will be necessary. It is suggested that you put the reason in writing and bring it with you to the Clerk's Office to initiate your Small Claim.

Copies of contracts, notes, leases, receipts or other evidence you have to support your claim must be furnished to each person named in the suit, as well as the court. Bring ALL originals to your first court appearance.


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ARE THERE OTHER REQUIREMENTS?
   

When you sue someone, other than an individual, there is additional information required to complete the forms.

For example, if you are suing an individual doing business as a company; a partnership with several people doing business as a company; a corporation, or an insurance company? You must research the information carefully.

You may request assistance researching Corporations in the State of Florida by calling:

SECRETARY OF STATE
Corporate Division
Telephone (850) 488-9000

http://www.sunbiz.org/

You can check this site for Corporations and Fictitious Names.


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WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I FILE MY SMALL CLAIMS CASE?
   

A First, The person or business must be served with a Summons to appear in court on a specific date and time.

The first court date is a pre-trial conference where you and the defendant will meet with a mediator and try to resolve the case.

If the dispute cannot be settled at the pre- trial conference, a trial date will be scheduled. You must appear at the trial with all witnesses and documentation of your claim.

At the trial you will explain your case to the judge, ask the person(s) you are suing questions concerning your claim, present your documentation and call on your witnesses to explain your case.


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CAN I HAVE A JURY TRIAL ON MY SMALL CLAIMS CASE?
   

Yes, a trial by jury may be requested by the person(s)(plaintiff) filing the case by providing a written demand at the time the case is filed.

The person filed against [defendant] may request a jury trial within five days after being served of Notice or at the pre-trial conference.


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WHAT HAPPENS IF A SETTLEMENT IS REACHED?
    If, a settlement is reached between the parties at any time in the proceedings, the plaintiff must notify the Clerk of Court’s Office, in writing.

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HOW CAN I COLLECT MY JUDGMENT?
    The court does not collect money damages for you. You may consult with an attorney for advice on how to collect your judgment.

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CAN I FILE A LIEN AGAINST THE DEFENDANT'S PROPERTY?
   

If you receive an award from a Judgment and you choose to place a Judgment Lien against any the defendant’s individually owned real property, you must send a written request to the Clerk of the Circuit Court to record a certified copy of your Judgment as a Judgment Lien.

Fees for recording the Judgment Lien are set by Florida Statutes and are subject to change. Refer to Fee for Transfer of Lien to Security


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WHERE DO I FILE MY SMALL CLAIMS CASE?
    A Small Claims case may be filed with the Civil Department at the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Evictions

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WHAT IS A RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD OR TENANT ACTION?
    An action which applies to the rental of a non-commercial dwelling unit, filed by a landlord against a tenant or a tenant against a landlord on common disputes such as payment of rent, non-compliance or breach of a lease or rental agreement.

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WHO CAN FILE A RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD OR TENANT ACTION?
   

A landlord (the owner or leaser of a dwelling) OR a tenant (a person entitled to occupy a dwelling unit under a rental agreement) may file.

If you have a commercial, agricultural or personal property lease, you should consult an attorney for the proper procedures to resolve disputes.


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DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY? 
    You may consult with an attorney or familiarize yourself with the procedures for enforcing your rights under your lease.

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WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO FILE A RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD/TENANT ACTION?
   

Before you file, proper written notice must first be given to the landlord or the tenant.

The notice form used will depend upon the landlord's or tenant's reason for terminating the lease.


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WHERE CAN I GET COPIES OF THE DIFFERENT NOTICE FORMS REQUIRED?
   

The Clerk's Offices have notice forms designed for use in the event of common residential/ landlord disputes.

There are other notice forms a landlord will need to send to a tenant to terminate a lease and evict a tenant. 

There are also other notice forms for tenants to use to give notice to the landlord to end the lease or withhold rent payments.


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AFTER I GIVE PROPER WRITTEN NOTICE, WHAT NEXT?
   

To file a landlord action, you must file a petition to request the Clerk to issue a summons, which is then served by the Sheriff’s Office. 

When you come to the Clerk’s Office you need the following documents:

One copy of the notice for the file

Two copies of the notice for each tenant named in the case

One copy of the notice for yourself

A copy of the lease for the file and two copies for each tenant named in the case

A legal size envelope, addressed to each tenant, with postage

Note: Filing fees are charged by the Clerk’s Office and a Service fee is charged by the Sheriff’s Office or service by publication. 

There are different requirements for tenant actions.

You may wish to consult an attorney, the public library or law library for additional detailed information.


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WHEN WILL I GO TO COURT?
   

The party that is served the summons will have a specific period of time to respond, depending upon the type of summons issued.

If a response is filed, or if monies are deposited with the court registry, you must contact the office of the Judge assigned, to schedule a court date. If no response is received, or no monies deposited with the court registry, you may file a Motion for Default with the Clerk's Office.


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IF THE COURT ENTERS A DEFAULT, WHAT HAPPENS?
    If the Court issues a final judgment of eviction against a party in default, you may the ask the Clerk to execute a Writ of Possession, if you expect to forcibly remove the tenant or tenant's possessions.

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IS THERE MORE INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON COLLECTING THE FINAL JUDGMENT?
    The court does not collect money damages for you. You may consult with an attorney for advice on how to collect your judgment.

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WHAT IF I NEED MORE INFORMATION ABOUT FILING A RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD/TENANT ACTION?
   

A For more information, visit the public library, the law libraries at the Courthouse or read the Florida Statutes.

Supreme Court Approved forms and information are available in the Clerk's Office for individuals filing actions on their own behalf.


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JURY

How was my name selected for Jury service?
    Your name was selected at random for jury service from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles database of licensed drivers and holders of Florida Identification Cards of Collier County residents.

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Are all licensed drivers eligible for jury service?
    No. To qualify as a juror, a person must be at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States, a legal resident of the State of Florida and have an address in Collier County.

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Can I serve as a juror if i am not a licensed driver?
    Yes, if you are 18 years of age or older, a citizen of the United States and a legal resident of the State of Florida with an address in the County of Collier and you have a desire to serve as a juror, you may come into the Clerk's Office and execute an Affidavit to apply for jury duty. Your name will be added to the database of qualified prospective jurors.

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Is everyone qualified to serve as a juror?
    No, the Governor and Governor's cabinet, the Sheriff, the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Judges are disqualified as jurors.
Persons who are under prosecution for any crime or who have been convicted in Florida or any other state, territory or country or in any federal court of bribery, forgery, perjury, larceny, or any other offense that is a felony in the State of Florida are not qualified to serve as jurors unless their civil rights have been restored.
Additionally, any person with an interest in an issue to be tried cannot sit as a juror in the case where the issue will be tried.

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Can I be excused from jury duty?
    You may request to be excused from jury duty if you are full-time federal, state or local law enforcement or investigative personnel; an expectant mother or a parent who is not employed full time and who has custody of a child under six (6) years of age; or a person responsible for the care of a person incapable of caring for his/her self.

Other persons who can demonstrate hardship, extreme inconvenience or public necessity may also request to be excused by the court. A person who is summoned and has reported as a prospective juror is exempt from jury service for a minimum period of one year.

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What is the role of the prospective juror?
    Jury service is essential to the functioning of our judicial system and to the operation of our entire system of government. Jury service is the duty of all qualified individuals because we all enjoy the privileges of citizenship and the protection of our liberty and property afforded by the judicial system. Jurors perform the crucial task of deciding the case upon the evidence, which the lawyers present and by applying to that evidence the law upon which the Judge instructs them.

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Where will I serve as a juror?
    Jury trials are held in the Collier County Courthouse 3315 Tamiami Trail East, Collier County, Naples, Florida. If you have been summoned for jury service, your Juror summons will list your reporting location.  Almost all jury trials are held in Collier County; however, a rare occurrence may allow a Collier County Jury trial to be held in another county within the circuit.

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How long will I serve as a juror?
    In Florida, if selected as a Juror, you will be required to serve the length of one trial unless otherwise directed by a Judge.

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Will I be paid to serve as a juror?
    Jurors are paid in accordance with Florida law. If you are regularly employed and receive regular wages while serving as a juror, you are not entitled to be paid for the first three days of your service. If you are not regularly employed or you don't receive regular wages during your service, you will be compensated at the rate of $15.00 per day for the first three days of service. Each juror who serves more than three days is entitled to be paid $30.00 per day for the fourth day of service and each day thereafter.

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How can I make my service more comfortable?
    For your comfort, you may wish to observe the following guidelines when reporting for jury service: Dress: Appropriate business attire is required. Shorts, abbreviated tops, beach or evening attire are not acceptable. Temperature: Court facilities are air conditioned and often become chilly. For your comfort, you may wish to bring a sweater or jacket with you. Beverages: Coffee and tea are available.

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Where can I get additional information?
    If you would like to speak to someone about jury service, call (239) 252 -8335.

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REPORTING FRAUD

Why does the Clerk of the Circuit Court have a Fraud Reporting System?
   

The Clerk of the Circuit Court has the constitutional responsibility as custodian of all county funds.  While routine audits by the Internal Audit staff are essential to uncovering fraud, the Clerk’s office also relies on information from the general public and employees of applicable agencies (employees) as a tool for detecting fraud and other violations.


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Who should use the Fraud Reporting System? 
    Members of the public and employees are strongly encouraged to report suspected instances of fraud that they may have witnessed or of which they have knowledge.
 

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What should be reported? 
   

Members of the public and employees should report any violations of federal, state, or local laws, rules, or regulations and suspected fraud.  Please see “What is Fraud?” for a definition and examples.


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What is fraud?
   

Fraud is defined as intentionally deceiving or misleading others with the intention of personal or financial gain, the concealment of something that should have been disclosed, or other fiscal improprieties.  Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Theft or misappropriation of funds, supplies, or other assets
  • Impropriety in the handling or reporting of money or financial transactions
  • Disclosing confidential and proprietary information to outside parties
  • Accepting or seeking anything of material value from contractors, vendors, or persons providing services/materials
  • Unauthorized destruction, removal, or use of records, furniture, fixtures, and/or equipment
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Use of county assets for personal gain
  • Forging or altering official documents 

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What should NOT be reported?
   

General complaints, suggestions, personnel issues, sexual harassment, or discrimination should not be reported as fraud.  Instead, members of the public and employees are encouraged to use other options at their disposal, including talking to a supervisor or contacting the Human Resources Department for the applicable agency.

In addition, threats of workplace violence, emergencies, or situations in which public or employee health and safety is at risk should be reported immediately to management, the appropriate law enforcement agency, or 911.
 

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What information should be provided? 
   

Members of the public and employees should describe their concern(s) with as much detail as possible, including: 

  • Names of individuals/departments and how they were involved
  • Names of other witnesses to incident(s)
  • Date(s), time(s), and location(s) the incident(s) occurred
  • Supporting documentation such as memos, e-mails, pictures, contracts, other
  • potential witness contact information or any other information you believe
  • substantiates your concern 

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What happens after I submit a report?
    Once a report of suspected fraud is received, the Internal Audit Department reviews the information to determine if an investigation is warranted.  The individual who reported the fraud will remain anonymous during an active investigation, unless the individual chooses to identify himself or herself. - F.S. 112.3188.


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What happens if a report is found to be untrue?
    If a report is not substantiated or is refuted, the investigation is closed and no further action is taken.


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What happens if a report is found to be true?
    If the reported fraud is substantiated, then the results of the investigation and any recommendations are documented in a report issued to the Clerk of the Circuit Court.  The Clerk will make referrals to the appropriate law enforcement agency or State Attorney’s office, as necessary.

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