NOTICE: Litigation forms and instructions are provided by the Florida Supreme Court for use by persons not represented by legal counsel. The Clerk provides access to these forms and instructions as a matter of public convenience. However, the Clerk cannot provide legal advice to persons who want to use these forms. Specific guidance on how to proceed with filing a law suit or answering a lawsuit and questions about your particular situation should be directed to a qualified attorney.
1. Before a lawsuit is filed, you must give written notice to the tenant to vacate because of:
- Non-Payment of Rent: Keep a copy of the notice to bring with you to the Clerk when filing. Notice (form COCV 1121) must state that the tenant has three (3) business days to pay rent or vacate the premises listed. The three (3) business days excludes Saturday, Sunday and observed legal holidays, per Florida Statute 683.01. Do not count the date the notice was given. Allow three (3) complete business days to elapse before filing the lawsuit. Notice must state the amount of rent owed and the date the notice was given to the tenant. Notice must state the name and address of both the landlord and the tenant.
- Any reason other than non-payment of rent: Keep a copy of the notice to bring with you to the Clerk when filing. These types of notices are not provided by the Clerk; you can check with an online legal forms supplier or an office supply store. Fifteen (15) business days notice for non-compliance with the lease or rental agreement must be given prior to the end of any monthly period, when the tenancy is month-to-month without specific duration. Seven (7) business days notice prior to the end of any weekly period must be given when the tenancy is week-to-week and without specific duration. See Florida Statutes 83.56 and 83.57.
2. When you file the lawsuit, you need the following documents:
- Original complaint (form COCV 1102 or form COCV 1242) and three copies for each tenant.
- One copy of the written notice for the file and three copies of the written notice for each tenant named in the case.
- One copy of the lease for the file and three copies of the lease for each tenant named in the lawsuit.
- The original Eviction Summons (form COCV 1360) and three copies for each tenant named in the lawsuit.
- Two legal-size or larger envelopes for each named tenant in the lawsuit, with one addressed to each tenant at the property address and one addressed to each tenant at the mailing address designated on the lease. If a different address is not designated in the lease, then each tenant is mailed two envelopes at the property address. Each envelope must have the correct amount of postage. If a copy of the lease is included, more postage may be needed. If you do not provide the postage paid envelope, the copy of the summons may not be mailed until the next business day and you will be charged for the postage.
- You should retain a copy of all documents filed for your records.
- A fee of $1.00 per page will be charged for any additional copies made by the Clerk.
3. The summons must be served by either the Sheriff or a Certified Process Server. After the summons is served to the tenant(s), the tenant(s) have five (5) business days to file a response regarding the possession of the premises. Do not count the day of service, Saturdays, Sundays or observed legal holidays. The paperwork to complete the lawsuit may be filed after five business days have elapsed and an Order of Notification has been signed by the judge.
Step-by-step delinquent tenant eviction process
Step-by-step removal of tenant eviction process
All completed forms are to be filed with the Clerk's Office, County Civil Division.
Submitting a final judgment if your complaint is for non-payment of rent
Submitting a final judgment if your complaint is for reasons other than non-payment of rent.
Tenants Rights and Help Resources
Serving Summons, Subpoenas and Documents