Clerk of Court - Magistrate Division

Magistrate Civil Division

This division is responsible for the execution of dispossessory actions, statement of claims, garnishments and abandoned motor vehicles. Magistrate court has jurisdiction over claims up to and including $15,000.00. Claims are filed in the county of the defendant’s residence.
Filing fees are as follows:
◾$57.00 Statement of Claims, Dispossessory Actions, Garnishments
◾Plus $50.00 each Sheriff’s Entry of Service (except Dispossessory which are $25.00 each)
◾$10.00 Abandoned Motor Vehicle (plus $2.50 per certified copy of Final Order)

Criminal Division

The clerk maintains records of the following misdemeanor cases: Shoplifting, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Alcohol, Criminal Trespass, and closed Misdemeanor Deposit Account Fraud (Bad checks)

How much time do I have to give the defendant to vacate?

This depends upon your contract or applicable state law. Before a dispossessory can be filed you must give the defendant a specific date and time to vacate.

Can I turn off my tenants utilities because of non-payment?

No.

What is an answer and where is it done?

A response is made by the defendant to a lawsuit and must be filed within the time limit given on the summons. The answer is made in writing and should be notarized or orally given in person to the Clerk of Court’s office.

I missed the time to file an answer; can I file a late answer?

The law allows late answers in certain types of cases and within certain time periods when cost to open the default is paid at the time of the answer being filed.

Do I need an attorney?

An attorney is not required. However; it is strongly encouraged to seek counsel due to the court being unable to answer legal questions or give any legal advice.

How do I collect on my judgment?

File a garnishment or Fifa.

What happens if the defendant does not file an answer within time limit?

In the majority of cases, a default judgment will be issued without a court hearing.