On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that will increase the limit on damages in civil suits filed at the county level.
Since 1992 there has been a $15,000 limit on damages in civil suits, also called “small claims,” filed on the county level.
HB 337 raises the maximum damages handled in county court cases to $30,000 on Jan. 1, 2020, and to $50,000 by Jan. 1, 2022. The $15,000 limit would remain in place for cases filed before Dec. 31, 2019.
The increase was pitched due to the current high caseloads in the state’s circuit courts.
The Florida Supreme Court has also recommended a threshold increase, though only to $25,000.
HB 337, sponsored by Ormond Beach Republican Rep. Tom Leek, cleared both chambers with a unanimous vote on the final day of the 2019 Legislative Session.