Eviction Process


GENERAL

1. These instructions apply to residential eviction for non-payment of rent.

2. All landlords should read and become familiar with Chapter 83, Florida Statutes.

3. Effective March 31, 1992, "A landlord's agent is not permitted to take any action other than the initial filing of the complaint, unless the landlord's agent is an attorney." (Sec. 83.59(2), F.S.)

4. The forms attached to these instructions have been approved by the County Court Judges in Brevard County for use in residential evictions for non-payment of rent only. If you wish to pursue back rent or damages or eviction for a reason other than non-payment of rent, you must either modify these forms, use the Simplified Forms developed and approved by the Supreme Court, prepare your own documents or consult with an attorney. When filling out the eviction forms, please print or type so that the forms are legible.

FILING

1. Prior to filing a Complaint for Eviction, the landlord must serve the proper notice on the tenant. (Sec. 83.20(2), F.S.)

2. You must provide the following items to the Clerk at the time you file a Complaint for Eviction:

(a) $80.00 filing fee payable in cash, check, cashier's check, money order, or credit card payable to the Brevard County Clerk of Court.

(b) $20.00 Sheriff's fee per defendant to be served (husband and wife are considered 2 defendants). This fee must be in cashier's check, money order, or business check payable to the Brevard County Sheriff. The Clerk CANNOT accept cash for the Sheriff. If you wish to pay cash, you will be responsible for hand-delivering the Summons to the Sheriff. The Sheriff will NOT accept personal checks.

(c) Original Complaint for Eviction plus two (2) copies of the Complaint for each defendant.

(d) One (1) copy of the rental agreement or lease plus two (2) copies of the rental agreement for each defendant.

(e) One (1) copy of the 3-day Notice plus two (2) copies of the 3-day Notice for each defendant.

(f) One (1) stamped legal size envelope with at least $.83 postage for each defendant, addressed to the defendant for mailing a copy of the Summons and Complaint to the defendant.

(g) One (1) stamped legal size envelope addressed to the landlord for the Sheriff's Department to mail a copy of the return of service advising the landlord of the date and time the defendant was served with the Summons.

(h) Pre-addressed stamped envelopes for mailing of the Final Judgment - one envelope for the landlord and one for each defendant.

(I) One (1) proposed Writ of Possession will be printed as part of the eviction packet.

1. If the landlord would like the Writ of Possession sent directly to the Sheriff for service on the defendant, they will need to submit the Sheriff's fee of $50.00 plus $20.00 per defendant (i.e., if there is one defendant, the Sheriff's fee would be $70.00; two defendants would be $90.00 and so on.)

2. If the landlord does not submit the Sheriff's fee at the time of filing, then the Writ will be sent directly back to the landlord. If the landlord chooses not to submit the Sheriff's fee, they should submit a self addressed stamped envelope so that the Writ can be mailed directly to them. It is then the landlord's responsibility to deliver the Writ of Possession to the Sheriff for service.

SUMMONS

1. If the Complaint requests possession of the property only, a 5 Day Summons will be issued.

2. If the Complaint requests possession of the property AND payment of back rent or damages, you may serve the Defendant in two (2) different ways:

(a) Request a 5 Day Summons and a separate 20 Day Summons. The 5 Day Summons can be either personally served or it can be posted. The 20 Day Summons must be personally served. There will be a $20.00 Sheriff's fee per Summons per defendant. Please note that the separate 5 and 20 Day Summons allows the Sheriff to post the 5 Day Summons so that the possession portion of the eviction can go forward without delay.

(b) Request a combination 5 day and 20 Day Summons. THIS SUMMONS MUST BE PERSONALLY SERVED. If this summons is not personally served, the landlord will not be awarded a money judgment. There will be a $20.00 Sheriff's fee per defendant. If the Sheriff is unable to post this summons then it could hold up the possession portion of the eviction.

DEFAULT AND FINAL JUDGMENT

1. Answer not filed within 5 days after service of the Summons

(a) Present the following to the Clerk of Court:

1. Motion for Default

(b) After entry of the Default, the Clerk will forward the proposed Final Judgment of Eviction to the assigned Judge. After entry of the Final Judgment of Eviction, the Clerk will execute the Writ of Possession and forward it either to the landlord or to the Sheriff.

2. Answer filed or Rent deposited into the Registry of the Court

(a) Upon receipt of an Answer or upon deposit of rent into the Registry of the Court, the Clerk will forward the file to the Judge for review to determine whether a Final Judgment of Eviction will be entered or a hearing will be scheduled

1. Final Judgment of Eviction: The Clerk will forward the file to the Judge. Upon entry of the Final Judgment of Eviction, the Clerk will mail a copy of the final Judgment of Eviction to the landlord and to each defendant.

2. Hearing: If a Judge requests a hearing be scheduled, the Clerk will schedule a hearing and prepare a Notice of Court Event. The Clerk will mail a copy of the Notice of Court Event to the landlord and to each defendant. After entry of the Final Judgment of Eviction, the Clerk will execute the Writ of Possession and forward it to the Sheriff for service. The Sheriff's fee for a Writ of Possession is $50.00 plus $20.00 per defendant.

If the tenant moves out prior to a Final Judgment being entered, or an agreement is reached allowing the tenant to stay, the landlord must cancel the hearing if one has been scheduled and file an original Voluntary Dismissal (a form may be obtained from the Clerk). A copy of the voluntary Dismissal must be mailed or delivered to the defendant. Please note that the landlord should not accept any monies from the defendant(s) during the eviction process, instead the landlord should instruct the defendant(s) to deposit any and all monies into the Registry of the Court.

COUNT II

(a) The landlord must contact the Judge's office directly in order to schedule a hearing on back rent and damages. Please note that a 20 day summons must have been PERSONALLY SERVED on a defendant in order to be entitled to a Count II Hearing for damages or back rent. The Landlord must prepare his own Notice of Hearing and Final Judgment or have an attorney or paralegal assist him. The Clerk's Office does not have these forms for Count II of the eviction process. The Clerk CANNOT recommend an attorney for you. If you do not know an attorney who handles Tenant Evictions, you should contact the Lawyer Referral Service at 1-800-342-8011 or 1-800-733-6337.

To check the status of a case during the eviction process, please try using EFACTS on the Clerk's website at www.brevardclerk.us or call the Information Center at (321) 637-5413. You may also email questions or comments to the eviction clerk, Nancy.Brown@brevardclerk.us.