County Civil

The County Civil Department maintains the records and documentation for cases involving eviction law suits, small claims and other civil law suits up to $50,000 which include car repair disputes, release of personal property and payment information for a judgment.

Reassignment Lists for County Civil Cases per Administrative Order S-2024-039.
If you require accessibility accommodations for these reports, please contact our office.
County Civil Cases Transferred to Divisions N O V [pdf] 
County Civil Cases Transferred to Divisions N O V [Excel]
Help File for Reassigned Cases per AO S-2024-039

County Civil FAQs

Evictions and Landlord-Tenant Laws

Serving Summons, Subpoenas and Documents

Can I file a lawsuit to recover money owed to me?

Yes, you can file a lawsuit. If the amount you are attempting to recover is less than $8,000, your case will be considered a small claims case. These cases are handled differently than cases for amounts over $8,000 but less than $50,000. To begin the filing process, the plaintiff (the party that is bringing the lawsuit) would need to complete paperwork with information and facts about the case. A summons directed to the defendant (the party that you feel owes you the money) is issued by the Clerk. The complaint and summons is then served on the defendant either by certified mail, sheriff or process server. Once service is complete, the case can be heard at the pre-trial hearing, which is scheduled within 50 days of filing the case. At the pre-trial hearing, the judge may hear your case and render a decision or the judge may refer the case to mediation to be resolved. You can find some of the forms you might need to open your case for download here.

How do I view a County Civil court file?

Electronic viewing of many court records, indexes and dockets as well as non-confidential document images is currently available on our Hillsborough Online Viewing of Electronic Records (HOVER) site.

If you are authorized under Florida Rules of Judicial Administration to view a court file but are unable to view it online and/or you need a copy, you may view or pick up a copy of the file at our Tampa Edgecomb or Plant City locations. To allow adequate time for redaction processing, it may take four business days for your file to be available for on-site viewing and/or pick-up. We suggest that you pre-order the file for onsite viewing or pick-up by completing the Order Form for County Civil files.

Someone hit my car. How can I sue their insurance company for my repair bills?

The statute states that you sue the owner and driver of the vehicle, not their insurance company. It would be the responsibility of the vehicle owner to add their insurance company to the lawsuit.

I bought a car and they won't give me a title. How do I get a title?

You can file a case in the county court, if the car is valued less than $50,000, requesting the judge to declare you the owner of the car. You would take a certified copy of the order to the county tax collector to begin the process of issuing a title. The Clerk's Office does not provide forms for this type of case. You may need to seek legal advice on how to proceed.

How can I get my car back when I have a payment dispute with the repair shop over the bill?

F.S. 559.917  allows the owner or customer to have the vehicle released by depositing the amount of the bill into the Court Registry. The final bill or notice of sale and proposed lien are documents required as proof of the amount to be paid. The amount of the bill claimed by the repair shop must be brought to the Clerk's Customer Service location in either Tampa or Plant City in the form of cash, cashiers’ check, money order or attorney trust account check. The Clerk will prepare a certificate to have the vehicle released from the repair shop. There is a fee associated with preparing this paper work and it must be paid at the time the money is deposited with the Clerk for the release of vehicle. The disputed funds will be held in the Court Registry for 60 days. During that time the repair shop has the opportunity to file a lawsuit to recover the amount deposited. If a lawsuit is not filed in 60 days, the amount deposited into the Court Registry will be released to the person who made the deposit less the statutory registry fees. 


How can I get my car released when it has been towed without my permission and the towing company is holding my car for towing and storage fees?

F.S. 713.78  states that the owner or lien holder can file a lawsuit to have the Court determine if the property was wrongfully taken or withheld. Upon the filing of the lawsuit, the owner or lien holder can have the vehicle released by depositing the amount of the bill into the Court Registry. The final bill or notice of sale and proposed lien are documents required as the proof of the amount to be deposited into the court registry.  The lawsuit may be filed in County Civil Court if the value of the vehicle is less than $50,000. You must provide a final bill with the charges being claimed, and present cash, cashier’s check, money order, attorney trust account check or surety bond in the amount of the final bill for deposit into the Court Registry. A court registry fee, based on the amount of the deposit, is charged at the time of the deposit. The Clerk will prepare a Certificate of Bond Filed, which will authorize the owner or lien holder to pick up the property being held. There is a charge for preparing this paper work. The fee for filing the lawsuit is in addition to the fees mentioned above. This statute applies to any mobile item that is mounted on wheels and it does not have to be motorized. The deposited money is held in the Registry of the Court until the case is ruled on by a judge and a court order directing the Clerk to release the money less the statutory fees is signed by the judge in the case. 


How do I get my personal property out of the repair shop when I do not agree with the amount of the bill?

F.S. 713.76  allows the owner, customer, or any person that has an interest in the property including an attorney to have the property released to them. To have the property released, you must come to the Clerk’s Office and present a final bill and payment in the form of cash, cashier’s check, attorney trust account check, or surety bond for deposit into the Court Registry. The payment must also include the statutory fee charged by the Clerk. The amount deposited is held in the Court Registry for one year and the repair shop has the opportunity to file a lawsuit to claim the money during that time. After one year, the person who placed the deposit into the Registry must complete an Application for Return of Bond Posted to Release Lien Against Personal Property to ask to have the deposit returned to them. A notice is sent to the Lienor/Repair shop giving them 15 days to respond to the request to release the amount on deposit with the Clerk. If no response is received, the Clerk will release the deposit less the statutory fee to the person who placed the funds into the Registry. F.S. 713.76  applies to any personal property that is not specifically mentioned in any other statute.

How do I serve civil summons, subpoenas and documents?

You can find out more about civil process service here.

How can I find out who the proper party is to sue if the company is not listed with the Secretary of State in Tallahassee?

The Clerk's Office  cannot advise you on the proper party to sue as it may constitute the giving of legal advice, which we cannot do as we are not attorneys. File your case with the best information that you have. When the case comes to court, additional information may be presented at the hearing.

What happens at a pretrial hearing? What is a pretrial hearing?

A pretrial hearing is held only on small claims cases (under $8,000.00). The purpose of the pretrial is to briefly discuss the issues and determine if the case can be settled at that time, rescheduled for a trial at a later date, or referred to mediation.

How does mediation work?

The judge will refer a case to mediation. A mediator will listen to both sides of the case to see if it can be resolved. If you were ordered by the judge to go to mediation, you MUST attend or further court actions against you may occur for not attending. If mediation does not resolve the case, it may be referred back to the Judge for a final hearing.

Can I go to mediation if I have not filed a lawsuit?

Yes. Mediation and Diversion Services provides mediation services to the community of the 13th Judicial Circuit. This service may only be used prior to filing a case in a court. If you have previously filed a lawsuit, mediation may still be ordered by the court and fees may be assessed. You may call (813) 272-5642 for further information.

Why wasn't I notified that I have a judgment against me?

When a judgment is signed, copies of the judgment are served on all parties in the case at the last known address in the court file. If you have moved and did not notify the court of your current address, you may not receive notification of the judgment.

What is the interest rate for judgments?

Interest is charged on all judgments at a rate determined by the Florida Department of Financial Services. FSS 55.03(1) [external 3rd party link] requires the Chief Financial Officer, on December 1s of each year to set the rate of interest that shall be payable on judgments and decrees for the year beginning the following January 1st.

How can I pay off a judgment?

If you want to pay the judgment, you are required to pay the full amount of the judgment plus interest at the legal rate from the date the judgment was signed. The amount would be paid to the plaintiff or their attorney. If the plaintiff or their attorney cannot be located, you can deposit the full amount into the Court Registry and the Clerk will prepare a Satisfaction of Judgment upon payment of the applicable statutory Clerk's fees.

How long will my driver’s license be revoked due to a judgment?

The State of Florida Bureau of Financial Responsibility handles the revoking of driver’s licenses resulting from a judgment. You can contact Financial Responsibility by calling 850-488-7135.

How do I reschedule a hearing that I cannot attend?

Contact the attorney, if there is one in the case, and see if he/she will agree to the continuance. If not, you may file a request for continuance with the Clerk's Office for review by the judge.

How do I get a foreign subpoena issued?

See Foreign subpoena issued pursuant to UIDDA for more information.

What are the fees and fines associated with this service?

See County Civil Fees for more information.

What are my options for obtaining County Civil customer service from the Clerk's office?

Mail: PO Box 3360, Tampa, FL 33601-3360
Email: Contact us
Phone: (813) 276-8100
In person: Downtown Tampa, Plant City. See wait timesSchedule an appointment online for the Downtown Tampa location to shorten wait times at the Clerk's Office. Select Civil Courts - Appt as your appointment service type.