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Circuit Civil FAQ's - Contents
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Circuit Civil Cases - CA top
What is a Civil Action?

The types of cases filed in the Circuit Civil Division are:

  • Professional Malpractice
  • Products Liability
  • Auto Negligence
  • Negligence Action
  • Condominium Action
  • Contract Indebtedness
  • Real Property Mortgage Foreclosure
  • Eminent Domain
  • Appeal (County Court)
How do I file a Civil Action (over $15,000)?

The Clerk's Office cannot give legal advice. Please consult your attorney.

What are the filing fees for the Circuit Civil Division?

Click here for the current listing of filing fees.

How do I search for a Civil case?

Click on Online Inquiry System at the top of the navigation bar to the left of this page.

Foreclosure Cases - CA top
How can I find out about Foreclosure Sales?

Notices about mortgage foreclosure sales are published in local newspapers. The mortgage
foreclosure Court files are kept in the Circuit Civil Division. The Court file will contain
information about the amount owed on the property, as well as a description of the property.
However,the street address of the property will probably not appear in the Court file.

Click here for more information.

May a person who is not involved in the foreclosure lawsuit bid on the property?

Yes. This person is often referred to as a "third party bidder."

Where are the foreclosure sales held?

Effective June 2, 2015, mortgage foreclosure sales for all new filings will be conducted entirely online via this web site. It will no longer be necessary to appear in person to participate in the sale. The Clerk's Office conducts the sale via public auction on the Internet in accordance with Florida Statutes.

If I am a successful "third-party" bidder, how do I become the new owner of the property?

The Clerk issues a Certificate of Sale to the highest bidder after all funds are paid. Ten (10)
days after the issuance of the Certificate of Sale and if no objections to the sale are filed, the
Clerk records a Certificate of Title in the Official Records that transfers ownership of the
property to the highest bidder.

Please note that even though a Certificate of Title is issued, that does not mean the property is
free and clear of any liens. The buyer assumes any liens that are attached to the property and
is responsible for them. Therefore, it is advisable that a title search be done on said property
before bidding, so that the potential buyer is aware of any outstanding liens.

Juvenile Delinquency / Dependency - CA top
What is juvenile delinquency?

Juvenile delinquency involves anyone under the age of 18 that has been charged with a crime.

What is juvenile dependency?

Juvenile dependency involves anyone under the age of 18 that has been determined by the
Department of Children and Families to be neglected, abandoned, or abused.

How do I find out about my child's charges?

Information regarding juveniles is confidential and cannot be discussed over the telephone.
With proper identification, parties affiliated with the case can visit the Circuit Civil Division to
review the information.

If I have a juvenile record, how can I receive a copy?

With proper identification, the Circuit Civil Division of the Clerk's Office may provide
photocopies for a fee.

Mental Health - CA top
What is a Baker Act?

Chapter 394 of the Florida Statutes is known as "The Baker Act" and as "The Florida Mental Health
Act". A Baker Act proceeding is a means of providing an individual with emergency services and
temporary detention for mental health evaluation and treatment, either on a voluntary or involuntary

How are voluntary and involuntary Baker Act Admissions different?

A voluntary Baker Act is when a person 18 years of age or older, or a parent or guardian of a person
age 17 or under, makes application for admission to a facility for observation, diagnosis or treatment.

An involuntary Baker Act is when a person is taken to a receiving facility for involuntary examination
when there is reason to believe that he or she is mentally ill and because of his or her mental illness,
the person has refused voluntary examination; the person is unable to determine for himself or herself
whether examination is necessary and without care ortreatment, the person is likely to suffer from
neglect or refuse to care for himself or herself and such refusal could pose a threat of harm to his or
her well being; and there is a substantial likelihood that without care or treatment, the person will
cause serious bodily harm to himself, herself or others in the near future as evidenced by recent

How is an involuntary Baker Act proceeding initiated?

  • A law enforcement officer may take a person who appears to meet thecriteria for
    involuntary examination into custody and deliver the person to the nearest receiving
    facility for an examination.
  • A physician, clinical psychologist, psychiatric nurse, or clinical social worker may
    execute a certificate that he or she has examined a person within the preceding
    48 hours and finds that the person appears to meet the criteria for involuntary
    examination. A law enforcement officer shall take the person named in the certificate
    to the nearest receiving facility for an examination.
  • A Court may enter an ex parte (on behalf of one party, without notice) order stating
    that the person appears to meet the criteria for involuntary examination. A law
    enforcement officer shall take the person into custody and deliver him or her for an
What steps must be taken to obtain an Ex Parte Petition for Involuntary Examination?

The individual believed to be suffering from mental illness should be in Putnam County. If you are
willing to swear in a Petition for Involuntary Examination that you have personally witnessed an
individual causing harm to themselves or others, an Ex Parte Petition for Involuntary Examination can
be filed at the Clerk's Office, Circuit Civil Division.

Because paperwork must be processed, the petitioners should visit the Clerk's Office well before 5:00
p.m. The petitioners should bring a valid photo identification of themselves and should be prepared to
provide a specific address for the individual.

What is the procedure for filing the Petition and Affidavit Seeking ExParte Order Requiring Involuntary Examination?

A family member or interested person may fill out the petition and affidavit and file it with the Clerk's
Office, Circuit Civil Division. To obtain the petition contact:

Putnam Behavioral Health Care

330 Kay Larkin Drive

Palatka, FL 32177

(386) 329-3780

You will need to provide proper identification and have personally witnessed the individual's actions.

What happens after I file the Petition and Affidavit?

Your sworn affidavit will be reviewed by the Court. If the Court believes there is cause for action based
on the evidence provided in the petition and affidavit, the Judge will enter an order for the Sheriff to pick
up and transport the person to the nearest receiving facility. The person is examined at the facility and
the staff and doctors there determine any further action.

When will the order be served on the person?

The Sheriff will make every attempt to take the person into custody and transport the person to a facility.
If the person cannot be located by the Sheriff, the Sheriff will hold the order for seven (7) days and continue
attempts to take the person into custody.

How long will the order hold the person in a facility?

A person may not be detained for more than 72 hours.

What is the Marchman Act?

Chapter 397 of the Florida Statutes is known as the "Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services
Act of 1993".

It provides for the involuntary or voluntary assessment and stabilization of a person allegedly abusing
substances like drugs or alcohol, and provides for treatment of substance abuse. Any one family member
or three non-family members may file a petition for treatment of an individual.

The family or friends must make arrangements with a treatment facility prior to coming to our office to
complete a sworn petition stating the actions of this person and requesting a hearing. There is no filing

What is a voluntary Marchman Act admission?

A voluntary admission occurs when a person seeks treatment for substance abuse and applies to a
service provider to receive such treatment.

What is an involuntary admission for assessment and stabilization?

An involuntary admission occurs when there is good faith reason to believe the person is
substance abuse impaired, and because of such impairment:

  • the person has lost the power of self control with respect to substance use


  • the person has inflicted or attempted/threatened to inflict, or, unless admitted for
    treatment, is likely to inflict, physical harm to him/herself or another;


  • the person's judgment has been so impaired because of substance abuse that he/she
    is incapable of appreciating the need for substance abuse services and to make a
    rational decision regarding substance abuse services.
Probate / Guardianship - CA top
How do I find your office in the Courthouse?

The Circuit Civil Division is on the 2nd floor we are the last office on the left at the base of the
stairs leading up to the 3rd floor.

What is a will? When and where should it be filed?

A will is a document executed by a person that disposes of his/her property after his/her death.
It generally names a personal representative to administer the estate.

Do I need an attorney to deposit a will?

No, an attorney is not necessary to deposit the will with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. However,
you may want to consult with an attorney before filing so that he or she may determine whether
Probate proceedings will be necessary.

What is Probate?

Probate is a legal process through which the assets of a deceased person are properly
distributed to the heirs or beneficiaries. The Court oversees the estate to make sure debts are
paid and proper distribution is made.

How are Probate proceedings initiated?

Probate proceedings are initiated with the filing of a Petition by an interested person asking to
be appointed personal representative and/or distribute property depending on size and
complexity of property. The Petition is normally prepared by an attorney. The appointed person
will be responsible for the estate until all bills are paid and the balance of the estate is
distributed to the rightful beneficiaries.

What are the filing fees for Probate court?

Click here.

How do I access Probate records?

Probate records are not available online at this time.

What steps can I take if I know an individual that is incapable of caring for themselves and needs a guardian?

The first step is to contact an Attorney. The Clerk's Office may not give legal advice or guidance in
completing the various guardianship forms and reports that are required. If you are able and
qualified to serve as guardian, you may petition to be appointed guardian, through an Attorney.
If you do not wish to be appointed guardian, it is possible that a professional guardian may be

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