ATTENTION LANDLORDS: Please review the latest information on residential evictions during the pandemic on our public information page.
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 as to how to proceed with filing a lawsuit and questions about your particular situation should be directed to a qualified attorney.
1. Before a lawsuit is filed, you must give a written notice to the tenant to vacate because of:
- Non-Payment of Rent. Keep a copy of the written notice to bring to the Clerk when filing. The written notice must state that the tenant has three (3) business days to pay rent or vacate the premises listed. The three (3) business days exclude Saturday, Sunday and observed legal holidays (please see Florida Statute 683.01). Do not count the day the notice was given and allow for three (3) complete business days to elapse before filing the lawsuit. The written notice must state the amount of rent owed and the date the notice was given to the tenant. The written notice must state the name and address of both the landlord and the tenant. A copy of this notice is included in the packet purchased or may be downloaded here (form COCV 1121).
- Any reason other than non-payment of rent: Keep a copy of the written notice to bring to the Clerk when filing. These types of notices are not provided by the Clerk's Office. You may purchase them from an online legal forms supplier or an office supply store. Fifteen (15) 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) days notice is required prior to the end of any weekly period, when the tenancy is week-to-week and without specific duration. See Florida Statutes 86.56 and 83.57 for more information.
2. When you file the lawsuit, you need the following documents:
- The original complaint (form COCV 1102 or form COCV 1242) and two copies for each tenant named in the lawsuit, along with one additional copy if you would like to retain a copy for your records.
- One copy of the written notice to the tenant for the file and two copies of the written notice for each tenant named in the lawsuit, along with one additional copy if you would like to retain a copy for your records.
- One copy of the lease for the file and two copies of the lease for each tenant named in the lawsuit, along with one additional copy if you would like to retain a copy for your records.
- One original evictions summons (form COCV 1100) and two copies of the evictions summons for each tenant named in the lawsuit, along with one additional copy if you would like to retain a copy for your records.
- One legal size or larger envelope addressed with the correct postage for each named tenant in the lawsuit. If a copy of the lease is included, more postage may be needed. If you do not provide the postage paid envelopes, the copy of the summons may not be mailed until the next business day and you will be charged for the postage.
- A fee of $1.00 per page will be charged for any 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, the tenant has 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. After five business days have elapsed, the paperwork to complete the lawsuit may be filed.
Step-by-step delinquent tenant eviction process
Step-by-step removal of tenant eviction process
All completed forms are 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
Submitting a final judgment for past due rent count II
Tenant Rights and Help Resources
Serving Summons, Subpoenas and Documents