Category: Florida Law Blog

Can an Unlicensed Contractor Sue in Florida

Can an Unlicensed Contractor Sue in Florida

Can an Unlicensed Contractor Sue in Florida?

The quickest way to answer this question is to say that unlicensed contracting is a crime. A penalty for one’s first guilty conviction for unlicensed contracting is a first-degree misdemeanor. A second conviction is a third-degree felony. (Fla. Stat § 489.127(1)-(2)). The Florida Legislature, as affirmed by the Florida Supreme Court, provided Florida Statutes Section 489.128, to caution unlicensed contractors, and to warn consumers of the danger of hiring an unlicensed contractor to do work requiring a license. F.S. 489.128 provides that an “unlicensed contractor had no enforceable contract or lien rights with regard to the contract.” Earth Trades, Inc. v. T & G Corp., 108 So. 3d 580, 586 (Fla. 2013). Back to the question, can an unlicensed contractor sue in Florida?

The Florida Supreme Court answers this question succinctly; the purported contractor, if proven to be unlicensed, CANNOT recover on a contract with an unsuspecting homeowner. The Fla. Sup. Ct. further declares that (paraphrased) it is well-settled Florida Statutory law that as a matter of public policy, contracts entered into and performed in full or in part by any contractor who fails to obtain or maintain a license in accordance with State law and standards (provided in part by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation) shall be unenforceable in law or in equity. Id. If you would like to search for a contractor’s license and qualifications, you may do so on the Department of Business and Professional Regulations website for confirmation and to allay your suspicions. Contact the Jacobs Law Firm, PLLC construction attorney Lake County Florida for more information about your legal predicament.

Construction Attorney Lake County Florida

Construction Attorney Lake County Florida

In an early foundational case, Inter-Continental Promotions, Inc. v. Miami Beach First Nat’l Bank, the Court answered the question, can an unlicensed contractor sue in Florida. The Court decided, “We cannot allow one to invoke the judicial process when, for his own financial benefit, he has participated in the very activity the law precludes, with the resulting danger that the law seeks to avoid.” 441 F.2d 1356, 1361 (5th Cir.1971). More simply stated, no, they cannot. This does not mean that the legal fight is automatically over. The defendant (homeowner) must prove that the contractor is unlicensed and has no right to sue. The defendant must also show the court that the type of work being completed in fact requires a contractor’s license.

An unlicensed contractor who performs work that requires a license is actually taking a huge risk. The unlicensed contractor could conceivably perform the job above industry standard and not get paid. If the unlicensed contractor sues the homeowner for breach of contract, he or she could lose because of their failure to be licensed at the time of their performance.

As a construction attorney Lake County Florida, I would like to introduce you to Florida Statute 489.127(1(a),(f)) which states unequivocally that:

No person shall: |(a) Falsely hold himself or herself or a business organization out as a licensee, certificate-holder, or registrant;…[or] (f)Engage in the business or act in the capacity of a contractor or advertise himself or herself or a business organization as available to engage in the business or act in the capacity of a contractor without being duly registered or certified.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that if you are being sued, you must prove the contractor deceived you, misrepresented himself, or otherwise. The court does not assume that the contractor is unlicensed or that the type of work performed requires any licensing at all. If you would like to read additional Florida Law blogs about civil litigation, or would like a free consultation, contact us today!

Jonathan Jacobs is a breach of contract attorney Orlando FL that offers consultations with clients where he will explain to you the elements of a breach of contract in Florida to help you resolve your legal issues. Call the Jacobs Law Firm today for a consultation in your contract dispute case, (407) 310-5636, or e-mail us to schedule an appointment:

How is Child Support Calculated in Florida?

How is Child Support Calculated in Florida

How is Child Support Calculated in Florida?

How is Child Support Calculated in Florida? Florida Statute 61.39(2)(a)(1-14) determines that monthly income for purposes of calculating child support in Florida is based on at least fourteen considerations. We will go through the ten most utilized considerations for calculating child support in Florida so that you may have a better idea of how much you may owe or be owed when your family law case is resolved. Going into mediation or a hearing, or trial knowing (within reason and within a range) can make a difference in how you approach your case. We will explain the Florida child support calculations throughout this article.

Pursuant to the Statute, “gross” income is based partly on a party’s salary ($25,000, $50,000, $100,000, etc.). Any bonuses (Christmas or performance bonuses) a party may receive from their employer are added to the Florida child support calculation. This includes commissions (sales commissions for example), overtime pay (for working beyond 40 or so hours per week or beyond a certain number of hours per day), tips (at least those that can be proven based on tax records and receipts or those that are admitted to), and similar forms of additional income beyond one’s base salary. Let’s move on to our other child support considerations.

Calculating Child Support in Florida

Calculating Child Support in Florida

Calculating child support in Florida may involve figuring out a party’s business income that emanates from entities such as corporations, partnerships, and includes gross business income once ordinary business expenses (paperclips, reasonable advertisements, salaries for employees, rent, internet, electricity, etc.) are subtracted.

Some litigants and observers find it surprising that disability benefits are subject to child support calculations in Florida. The same goes for worker’s compensation benefits and settlements. They are part of the Florida child support calculations. The reasoning is that children’s health and welfare are paramount above all else.

Florida Child Support Calculations

Florida Child Support Calculations

Unemployment benefits are subject to Florida child support calculations. A party’s pension, retirement accounts (IRA accounts for example), and dividends are considered part of the calculus. Look out octogenarian dads and moms, your social security benefits are subject to Florida child support laws!

Alimony/spousal support payments that a party receives from a prior marriage are counted for purposes of figuring out child support payments. If a party earns rental income from renting out their property(ies), that gross income (with subtractions for AC and heating repairs, lighting, roofing, etc.) will be used for calculating child support in Florida.

How is child support calculated in Florida? We have covered ten considerations that are prominently featured in child support litigation. In other articles we will concentrate on other child support, jurisdictionalimony, domestic violence, timesharing, and property issues. For instance, to read about Florida Child Support Health Insurance, child click here.

Jonathan Jacobs is a caring and compassionate Orlando family law attorney.


Child Support Lawyer Lake County Florida

Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Florida

Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Florida Otherwise Known as the UCCJEA Florida

In a dissolution of marriage case in Florida, the UCCJEA Florida law (spelled out fully as Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Florida), the court needs to make a determination whether it has jurisdiction (legally binding authority) to hear your child custody case. As you may be aware, Florida courts are heavily inundated with dissolution of marriage cases, and do not have the time or resources to allow out-of-state cases into their system without sufficient proof that jurisdiction is appropriate. This series of requirements are a measure of resourcefulness, because Florida courts do not want to have jurisdiction battles with out of state courts when a more convenient forum has already been proven. Their attention and resources are best applied to Florida residents.

Therefore, the Florida Legislature has cobbled together an excellent Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Florida Statute 61.514, otherwise Known as the UCCJEA Florida Statute. This Statute perfectly explains and clarifies the circumstances under which Florida courts will assume jurisdiction over your case, and when and why they may choose not to do so.

Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Florida Statute

Pursuant to the Statute, Florida is considered the home state (for jurisdictional purposes) of the minor child(ren) as of the date of the beginning of the case, OR if Florida was the home state of the minor child(ren) within six months prior to the initiation of the proceeding. Six months is a more than reasonable amount of time during which litigants should establish residency and relationships within the State. The kid(s) whose interests are being decided by a Florida court can be living in another state for purposes of UCCJEA, as long as the parents or would-be custodial parents continuously maintain a residence within the State of Florida. Florida will not take jurisdiction over your case if another state has taken control of your case. However, if the other state(s) have declined jurisdiction, and the requirements provided by the UCCJEA Statute are present, Florida will likely integrate your case into its court system.

It is important that either the kid(s), the parent(s) or all parties have a “significant” connection with Florida that is more than a mere physical presence. Equally as important is that the Florida courts want to know that the child(ren) whose timesharing and child support is under consideration, have substantial ties (relationships) in/to the State of Florida. This may include schooling, friendships, extracurricular activities, a Driver License, mail, residency, etc.

UCCJEA Florida

UCCJEA Florida

Ultimately, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Florida Statute, otherwise Known as the UCCJEA Florida law, is written and provided for marital dissolution litigants to alert them to the fact that Florida does not have to hear their case. Being a litigant in a Florida divorce court has certain requirements that must be fulfilled or else the court will recommend you litigate your issues in a more (or most) appropriate forum. This means another state, another jurisdiction. Before you file with the court, ask an attorney if you meet the requirements of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Florida Statute, i.e. the UCCJEA Florida elements.

Call the Jacobs Law Firm today to learn more about jurisdiction and your rights in the Florida divorce courts.

Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Florida Statute

Technically speaking, family law cases are a form of civil litigation. However, when lawyers think about the meaning of civil lit, we more often conjure to mind eviction cases, commercial lease disputes, construction lawsuits, insurance disputes, and the list goes on. If you would like to learn more about civil litigation, visit our civil lit page today!

Florida Baker Act Statute

Florida Baker Act Statute

Florida Baker Act Statute, Florida Baker Act

The two primary statutes within the Mental Health laws of Florida, which govern what we call the Florida Baker Act, are 394.463, and 394.467. These are the Florida Baker Act Statutes. As is often the case, I enjoy delving into the statutes to provide insight into the purpose and meaning behind statutory construction and the practical aspects of how the laws work in real life terms.

F.S. 394.463 is about involuntary examination. This sort of involuntary exam occurs with minors (children under 18) and with adults (people of eighteen years of age and older). A law enforcement officer, or a qualified physician also have the right to bring a person to a treatment facility for diagnosis and possible treatment. The person is brought to a medical facility such as Lifestream, which is open 24-7 to accommodate situations where suicidal thoughts or actions, or substance abuse have overwhelmed a person to the point where their friends, teachers, loved ones, coworkers, etc., believe that the person needs professional psychiatric attention imminently.

Pursuant to the Statute, involuntary examination occurs only after the person/patient has refused to undergo voluntary evaluation and has been informed of the purpose of such an exam. This is done as a sort of informed consent, even though no consent is actually provided. Facilities such as Lifestream, team with a multitude of community organizations to provide the greatest outreach possibly to those affected.

A circuit or a county court may enter an ex parte order granting the psychological evaluation of a person who exhibits suicidal tendencies. Perhaps the most critical phrase within the Statute is that a person will be evaluated if he or she “present threat of substantial harm to his or her well-being.”

Florida Baker Act

The standard for the court to find a person should receive involuntary “inpatient” treatment is clear and convincing evidence. This standard more often than not, allows for the court to place a person in desperate need of help into a treatment facility. The court must find by clear and convincing evidence, that the person to be admitted cannot survive on their own, even with the help of friends and family. therefore, unless the person receives treatment, he/she will harm him or herself or others. Any less restrictive treatment option must be deemed unhelpful or unwise when taking into consideration the level of physycal harm that the person is capable of. As with the Florida Marchman Act petition, if an administrator of an inpatient facility files with the court to have the patient committed, after the investigation reveals a true risk of harm, they may petition the court. The alleged suicidal defendant is entitled to legal representation from the public defender’s office, or to private counsel. Moreover, a judicial officer must be present at the Bar Act hearing because of the potentially massive curtailment of the defendant’s rights. Doe v. State, 217 So. 3d 1020 (Fla. 2017). Doe is a 2017 Florida Supreme Court case that takes a n in depth look at the Florida Baker Act Statute. A hearing is held in which ONLY the doctors or administrators that petitioned for the defendant’s inpatient treatment may testify. To preserve the defendant’s constitutional rights, he/she may ask the court for an independent medical examination.

In Doe, the Florida Supreme Court further stated that “individuals subject to the Baker Act are among the most vulnerable in our society. [therefore] The Baker Act has built-in constitutional safeguards, including the requirement that hearings be conducted at the institution where the patient is placed and in a manner not likely to be injurious to the patient’s condition. Id. at 1025.

Florida Baker Act Statute Resources

The Florida Department of Children and Families offers a great deal of helpful information regarding the Florida Baker Act. The process is a challenging for all parties involved because of the severity of the charges, and the potential consequences of both allowing the potential problem to continue, or involuntarily committing a person unwilling to accept treatment. Not all defendants require Baker Acting, and many that should be treated for 90 or more days will not go voluntarily. To be Baker Acted is a serious curtailment of a person’s liberty. Those petitioning for another person to be committed should have a strong belief in the danger to that person and to those around them. This is not to be used simply to remove a person from their environment. The threat and the danger should be real. The Florida Baker Act Statute exists to help those in greatest need.

A recent statistical report released per the Florida Department of Children and Families via the Baker Act Reporting Center has revealed a sharp increase in Baker Acting in the past few years. The number of people getting help is trending upward. For help with your civil litigation needs, call the Jacobs Law Firm today at (407) 310-5636.

Florida Timeshare Cancellation

Florida Timeshare Cancellation

Florida Timeshare Cancellation Attorney: How Does Florida Timeshare Cancellation Work?

You have heard the sales pitch, you have seen the wonderful photographs of resorts, and you want to be a timeshare owner. A few days later, for one reason or another, you have changed your mind. This happens with buyers more often than you would think. What can you do to get out of your timeshare contract? Florida provides a reasonable and lawful rescission process based on statutory law. Buyer’s remorse occurs in many cases. This is why built into each valid timeshare contract is a notice of your right to rescission of the timeshare contract/agreement. A statutory right of rescission is a legal guarantee, that if you follow the law completely, and do not cause a breach of contract, you may have a right to cancel your contract within the time provided for by statute and/or contract.Jonathan Jacobs is a Florida Timeshare Cancellation Attorney ready to help you with your timeshare cancellation. We hope this blog article provides you with some clarity by answering a frequently asked question, “how does Florida timeshare cancellation work?”

Florida timeshare cancellation is becoming a massive business. This is because the sales tactics utilized during timeshare presentations are often quite convincing and attractive to timeshare buyers, but in the aftermath, it is not uncommon for timeshare buyers to quickly feel regret for having entered into a timeshare agreement. Maybe it is the terms of the agreement that buyers find to be unappealing, or perhaps it is the overall purchase price and terms that convince them to choose to rescind their contract. Most often, as a Florida Timeshare Cancellation Attorney , my clients inform me that they might not have obtained all of the benefits and resort availability they had anticipated they would in light of the amount of money they have paid, and/or are scheduled to pay the timeshare company or developer. As a consequence, they want to void the timeshare contract. Florida Timeshare Cancellation works based on the relevant Florida Statute as written by the Florida Legislature to offer consumers a measure of protection. Jonathan Jacobs is a Florida Timeshare Cancellation Attorney.

 Timeshare Cancellation Attorney in Florida

How Long do I have to Cancel My Timeshare Contract in Florida?

To answer the question of “how long do I have to cancel my timeshare contract in Florida,” I refer you to Florida Timeshare Cancellation Statute 721.06(g)(3), which offers a statutory method purchasers may use for Florida timeshare cancellation. Although not every attempt at cancellation runs smoothly, and many are contested, the Florida Timeshare Cancellation Statute clearly provides that buyers the opportunity to cancel their timeshare contract(s) within ten (10) days. This ten day window for cancellation begins either when the purchaser signs the timeshare agreement, or when all statutorily required documents are given to the purchaser in accordance with Florida Statute 721.07(6). The clock on cancellation begins ticking after the signature is made or the mandatory documents are provided to the purchaser, whichever event comes later. This is one reason for which timeshare contracts often allow for notice of rescission, or Florida timeshare cancellation to be effective when sent, not when received. If this policy were reversed, there could be enough ambiguity to lead to unnecessary litigation. To cancel, the seller and developer (often the same party or organization) must be notified in writing within the ten day window of the purchaser’s intent to cancel. The Jacobs Law Firm does this for clients. If you would like our legal advice, for us to prepare and send a notice of timeshare cancellation on your behalf, we will be available for you ASAP. Remember that in this circumstance, time is of the essence. It is important to send out notice of cancellation prior to the expiration of your ten day statutory grace period. The manner in which you send out notice is an issue we will discuss as well.

 Florida Timeshare Cancellation Statute

There are many expert law firms in Florida that handle Florida timeshare cancellation for their clients. The Jacobs Law Firm generally handles rescission for its clients within the time allowed for by Statute. Jonathan Jacobs is a Florida Timeshare Cancellation Attorney that works tirelessly on behalf of his clients. We encourage you to call or e-mail us with any questions you may have. Your initial consultation is absolutely free. Speaking with a lawyer will allow you to decide if you need a timeshare cancellation attorney. Remember, that the answer to the all-important question of “How Long do I have to Cancel My Timeshare Contract in Florida?” is generally ten days as provided for by Statute, but you should read the terms of your timeshare contract before relying exclusively on the Statute. Welcome to our Law Firm!

Florida Timeshare Cancellation Statute

The Jacobs Law Firm offers a wide variety of legal services for our clients throughout the State of Florida. For example, many of our clients have family law legal issues. Family law legal issues include asset distribution, alimony, child custody, child support, and domestic violence. Other clients need to have a will and/or trusts created to protect their assets. Some of our clients are involved in litigation for issues such as commercial or residential lease problems, small claims issues, eviction, Marchman and Baker Act petitions, and more. Similar to Florida Timeshare cancellation, many of these issues are best resolved with the help of an attorney. Reading, analyzing, and evaluating contracts is a skill that the Jacobs Law Firm provides for you. Call us any time for a free consultation.

Marchman Act Attorney Orlando

Marchman Act Orlando

Florida Marchman Act Admissions | Marchman Act Orlando

***THIS ARTICLE IS FOR REFERENCE ONLY, WE ARE NOT MARCHMAN ACT ATTORNEYS AND DO NOT REPRESENT CLIENTS ON THIS ISSUE. Florida Marchman Act Admissions into treatment can be both voluntary or involuntary. This means that a person who recognizes their abuse problems can agree to be admitted to a substance abuse program with a qualified/authorized substance abuse rehabilitation service provider (best case scenario). An involuntary Marchman Act admission occurs when the court has a good faith (common and highly meaningful legal language) belief that the person to be committed/Marchman acted, is no longer able to control him/herself, and poses a danger to him/herself or others as a likely result of said substance abuse. An involuntary Marchman act admission does not provide substantial guarantees of success. This is because, depending on the County, the defendant being committed might not be treated by detoxification for more than 5-7 days at most. Involuntary commitment under Marchman is a temporary situation, and is intended primarily to provide detox. Once the involuntary commitment is done, it is then up to the person receiving treatment to decide to volunarily enter into a rehabilitation program, or to further regress into addiction or abuse. If you read further, we will discuss the Florida Marchman Act Statute, and answer “what is the difference between the Marchman Act and the Baker Act?”

What is the difference between the Marchman Act and the Baker Act

What is the difference between the Marchman Act and the Baker Act?

What is the difference between the Marchman Act and the Baker Act? Asking the court to Marchman Act an individual is a serious issue, but one of a different categorization and perhaps a different purpose. If you have never heard of the Florida Marchman Act before, or if you are hearing about it for the first time, it is likely you are being Marchman Acted or are looking to Marchman Act someone you care about because of their alleged substance abuse issues. This brings us to a massive question that people ask frequently of lawyers: What is the difference between the Marchman Act and the Baker Act? The Baker act is designed to treat people that pose a threat to themselves by way of self-harm or suicide, and/or to other people because of a mental illness that is NOT as a result of substance addiction or abuse. The Marchman Act Orlando is narrowly focused on substance abuse issues. This is the way it is legally distinguished from the Baker Act.

Florida Marchman Act Case Law

Critical to our legal understanding of the Florida Marchman Act is a review of some pertinent legal case law precedent. Recent Florida Marchman Act case law focuses on law enforcement searches of defendants accused of having substance abuse issues and who are in need of temporary commitment. In the Second District Court of Appeals case of White v. State, 170 So. 3d 77 (Fla. 2d 2015), a seminal case for the potential intersection of civil and criminal law, the Court ruled that if an individual is committed/detained under the Florida Marchman Act, and there is no criminal arrest, there may be no SILA (criminal law abbreviation for search incident to lawful arrest). This is a legal protection afforded to non-criminal defendants whereby law enforcement may not utilize their detention for intoxication as a pretext for a search. Nevertheless, in White, the defendant exhibited the inability to properly reply to the officer’s questions, admitted to heavy drinking, could not identify his residence, and smelled of intoxication. Therefore, the Court ruled, the officer was within his right under the Florida Marchman Act, to take the man into protective custody to not only protect the man from being a danger to himself, but also to ensure the safety of the general public. Contact the Jacobs Law Firm for your civil litigation legal needs.

Florida Marchman Act Statute

Florida Marchman Act Statute

The general Florida Marchman Act Statute is F.S.§ 397.301 and is often cited/referred to as the “Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act,” meaning it is essentially eponymously named. The Florida Marchman Act Statute for involuntary admissions is F.S. 397.681. This Statute provides that there is no filing fee for this sort of court petition because of the magnitude and urgency of such a filing. In many Counties, the clerk with whom you file will present your petition and affidavit directly to the Judge. If the person being committed is summoned to court, all respondents in Marchman act proceedings have a right to counsel at every stage of the proceeding. Do some research on your own to learn more about the Florida Marchman Act Statute and about how to begin the process of Marchman Acting.

Attorney Jacobs is NOT accepting Marchman Act cases and does NOT represent clients in this type of legal matter. This article is intended to be referential and is not to be relied upon for legal advice. It is supposed to provide a brief introduction into the difference between the Baker Act and the Marchman Act in Florida.

Orlando Small Claims Attorney

Orlando Small Claims Attorney

Orlando Small Claims Attorney

Did you know, that pursuant the Florida Small Claims Rules, a small claims court lawsuit may be started simply by providing the Clerk of Court with a statement of your claim? Sounds simple right? In fact, writing a small claims statement of claim can be complicated. The three most frequent reasons clients hire me as their Orlando small claims attorney are: 1. people are unable to navigate the court system on their own (it can be a maze without proper guidance), 2. writing the statement of claim, notice to appear, and other documents for small claims court Orlando is not something people do everyday without help, and 3. collecting and putting together their evidence in a convincing and meaningful way to conform with the rules and restraints of the Florida Small Claims Rules is best done by a skilled attorney.

Lawsuits generally are best left to the legal professionals that are trained to litigate small claims legal matters. There are many times when your case may be better settled before or during mediation, or even up until the time of trial. An Orlando small claims attorney can help position you to receive the best deal possible whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant.

I do not mean to be too colorful with my analogies, but would you rather employ a dentist for your fillings, or read online about how to fix your tooth issues online and then give it your best shot? Wouldn’t you prefer a dentist? This is like reading about how to win a small claims case, but have you ever presented evidence at trial? Do you have significant experience with settling claims for high dollar values? Have you ever written a complaint for damages? What is your cause of action? Orlando small claims lawyer Jonathan Jacobs has experience with the Florida Small Claims Rules. He can you win your case and advise you as to your best options every step of the way.

Florida Small Claims Rules

Consider also hiring me from the opposing perspective. Suppose you are being sued in small claims court by an unscrupulous person or company that does not have a rightful claim to your money. They might expect to steamroll you in court because they do not believe you have an attorney or the means to fight back and protect yourself from their weak and speculative claim for damages. In that case, as the defendant, you should consider hiring me as your Orlando small claims attorney to help you prove your defenses to the Judge. The earlier in the process you hire me, the better your chances of reducing or eliminating your damages. The Florida Small Claims Rules provide for timelines and deadlines for offering counterclaims and certain defenses. This means that time is of the essence. If you happen to delay until it is close to the date of your trial, you may not be able to put forth legitimate defenses that could have significantly impacted the case in your favor.

Florida Small Claims Rules

Here is a fun fact, pursuant to Florida Small Claims Rule 7.070, the method for service of process in Florida small claims court can be by Certified Mail through the United States Post Office. I still from time to time recommend my plaintiff clients employ a process server to ensure service is made on the defendant(s), but it is technically not necessary.

The Florida Small Claims Rules also provide that the court will provide the parties with a hearing date. The summons/hearing date document will let you know that before the court proceeds to trial on a small claims case, there will be a court-ordered pre-trial conference. In small claims court, a pre-trial conference is more of a mediation where the parties may arrive at an agreement/stipulation on how to resolve their issues on their OWN terms without allowing a judge to decide their case.

Small Claims Jurisdictional Limit

Small claims court goes up to $5,000. However, in 2020, Small Claims in Florida may go as high as $50,000 according to new legislation form Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature. If your claim is for $2,000 or less you may want to save money by fighting the battle on your own. If your claim is closer to $5,000, the small claims court limit for damages, then hiring me as your Orlando small claims attorney may be helpful in recovering your damages. The goal is to minimize your risk and exposure financially to the furthest extent possible.

Now you know a little something about the Florida Small Claims Rules and you know that Orlando small claims attorney Jonathan Jacobs is available to represent you if your case is brought in good faith, has a reasonable chance of a successful outcome, and if you are willing to put in the work to win your case in small claims court. Contact the Jacobs Law Firm today!

Unlawful detainer and eviction actions are also generally small claims litigation issues. Here are the Orlando small claims court FAQ. Small claims cases are not appropriate for all litigants. If you believe your damages are significantly higher, you may need to bring your case to the county civil division or to the circuit civil division when your civil litigation involves a much higher dollar amount of alleged damages.

As an Orlando small claims attorney I can tell you that small claims trials are not always time consuming. In fact, they can be as short as just thirty minutes, or as long as about two to three hours depending on the court’s docket for that trial period. Therefore, the best practice for a litigant that wants to work with an attorney, is to hire a small claims lawyer early in the case to account for all legal issues and to employ all legal strategies before they are foreclosed due to the Florida Small Claims Rules and the timing allowed for each procedure. The Jacobs Law Firm also helps clients as a Tavares small claims attorney, and as a small claims attorney all throughout Central Florida. We look forward to hearing from you and will offer our best legal and professional skill in resolving your case.

Does A Florida Will Need to Be Notarized

Does A Florida Will Need to Be Notarized

Does A Florida Will Need to Be Notarized? Statute of Wills Requirements Florida

Although this article will be in the range of 500 words, or thereabouts, I have a one word answer to the question a client recently asked me, “Does a Florida will need to be notarized?” According to the Statute of Wills requirements Florida, a Florida will absolutely needs to be notarized, YES! In fact, even the notarization of a Florida will has certain protocols and requirements that must be observed, or else your will could be invalid. It may seem absurd, on the surface, that a bad job of notarizing (meaning just the absence of notarization, or not following proper notarization requirements under Florida law) might cause a will to be invalid. However, the truth of the matter is the notarization process is actually in place to protect the testator (will-maker) from fraud, fraud in the inducement, undue influence, and theft (among other some such protections). Knowing that Florida law is designed to ensure the accuracy of creation and safeguarding of a will’s provisions should give you confidence going forward with the sometimes challenging process. Jonathan Jacobs is a Lake County Florida probate attorney and Orange County Florida probate attorney.

Statute of Wills Requirements Florida

The According to the Statute of Wills requirements Florida provides that a Florida notary may lawfully only notarize a Florida will (or other legal documents) if the party signing (the testator) is present, of sound mind, and produces identification. The notary must indicate if the signer is personally known to her, or if the signer has produced sufficient identification. This is really basic notarization 101, but it still applies to Florida wills for the reasons referred to above. The courts take these requirements seriously and they must be sacrosanct. This is yet another reason (among so many other reasons) to hire a Lake County Florida probate attorney or an Orange County Florida probate attorney. Your attorney will ensure that the maker/signer or the Florida will is competent, of sound mind, or even consider sending the testator out for an independent medical assessment to ensure the authenticity and lawfulness of the will. Signs of dementia and symptoms of elderly age need to be evaluated. The purpose of this process is estate planning. In order to plan, careful preparation must be observed. This process is about intent, thoughtfulness and timely preparation.

Lake County Florida Probate Attorney

Lake County Florida Probate Attorney | Orange County Florida Probate Attorney

Pursuant to the Statute of Wills requirements Florida, other protocols must be observed. For instance, according to Florida Statutory law, the testator (again, this is legalese for will maker) must sign at the end of the will document, and there must be two subscribing/attesting witnesses signing not only in each other’s presence, but also in the testator’s presence, and vice versa. Think of this as a team effort to reduce any risk of tampering or inaccuracy. Do not abuse this process because it will cast aspersions on your will. Let’s return to our original question, does a Florida will need to be notarized? If Florida law explicitly indicates that certain formalities must be observed for the process to run as smoothly as possible, follow those instructions to the very last detail. If I have not made the point abundantly clear, this is why you should hire the Jacobs Law Firm, or another Lake County Florida probate attorney or an Orange County Florida probate attorney to assist you in this labyrinthine process.

Do you know what durable power of attorney means and how it affects your estate plan? Read our Florida Law Blog to find out. Civil litigation happens everyday in our Florida courts.

Orange County Florida Probate Attorney







Alimony Pendente Lite Florida

Alimony Pendente Lite Florida

Alimony Pendente Lite Florida: What Is It?

Alimony Pendente Lite sounds like an auto insurance company, or a caricature from some foreign language film up for an Oscar Award. No folks, alimony pendente lite Florida is a form of alimony that is short term, and awarded while the marital dissolution case is pending (hence pendente). Florida divorce courts do not automatically award this type of alimony, rather, your lawyer must specifically petition the court for it to be included in your case. It is rather obvious to lawyers, but generally not to laypersons, that if you want something, in most cases, you must make a request of the court. Jonathan Jacobs is an alimony attorney in Clermont, Minneola, Orlando, Leesburg, Tavares, Osceola, and the surrounding areas of Central Florida.

Alimony pendente lite Florida is otherwise known (this sounds like a pejorative term but it really isn’t) as “suit money.” Essentially, the party that has demonstrated a need for alimony from the party with a demonstrable ability to pay for alimony may be entitled to this short-term suit money. Vickers v. Vickers, 413 So.2d 788 (1982). Moreover, it is a central tenet of dissolution of marriage law that both spouses  (husband and wife) have an equal right to petition for alimony, petition for child support, and have (unless competent and substantial evidence indicate(s) otherwise), an equal right to custody of children. Yohem v. Yohem, 295 So.2d 656 (1974).

The concept behind alimony pendente lite Florida, is that marital dissolution lawsuits may take a number of months (or even years at the extreme) to be resolved. In the meantime, the payee (recipient) may not have any money to support their children, pay for their basic expenses such as rent or groceries, or even to pay their attorney to represent them in the divorce proceeding. Therefore, being mindful of this, and understanding that alimony may be awarded at the outcome stage of the case, Florida courts often award alimony pendente lite to benefit the party in need. Alimony pendente lite in Florida may be awarded based on motion, the petition, or the counterpetition upon request. The foregoing is based on the Florida Alimony Pendente Lite Statute and is explained by your alimony attorney in Clermont and Orlando.

Florida Alimony Pendente Lite Statute

Florida Alimony Pendente Lite Statute: Alimony Attorney in Clermont

The Florida Alimony Pendente Lite Statute is 61.071. Florida Statute 61.071 is one of the many Florida Statutes governing alimony. Case law regarding the Florida Alimony Pendente Lite Statute is mostly older and foundational (as indicated above).  The original case law on alimony pendente lite provides that the court awards this so-called suit money to prevent one party from being a burden to the coffers (pocket-book) of the state/government.

If you are considering getting a divorce in Florida, or if you have been served with a petition for dissolution, please call Jonathan Jacobs, your Alimony Attorney in Clermont Florida, Orlando Florida, and in all of Central Florida.

Other forms of alimony include:

Alimony Attorney in Clermont

Keep in mind that alimony is merely one of many issues that may need to be litigated in the Florida family courts. Other vital issues may include child support, health insurance for the kids, domestic violence, and the equitable distribution of assets. Call us today to learn more.






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Unlawful Detainer Attorney Orlando Florida

Unlawful Detainer Attorney Orlando Florida | Unlawful Detainer Orange County Florida

Of all the unique legal situations I have encountered in my career, a narrow and rarely used form of eviction in Orlando is Unlawful Detainer Orlando Florida. Technically speaking, unlawful detainer is not an eviction, it is a separate action. Nevertheless, it is often confused with an eviction and appears to people renting to those with an unlawful detainer on their record, as though it is a severe form of an eviction. You can get help with your case. Jonathan Jacobs is an unlawful detainer attorney Orlando Florida that helps clients with their unlawful detainer Orange County Florida lawsuits.

Unlawful detainer actions are narrowly-focused because they apply only to specific factual situations. The facts must be in the favor of the plaintiff seeking to evict the person/defendant staying in or essentially squatting in their home once consent has been revoked.

Unlawful Detainer and Eviction in Orange County Florida

The criteria for a plaintiff seeking to remove/oust a person from their home are:

1. The plaintiff in an unlawful detainer Orlando Florida action must have a legal right to live in the home. For instance, the plaintiff may be either the true owner, or the lawful tenant by contract/lease agreement. A lease agreement will specify the terms and nature of the tenancy and sub-tenancy (if any).

  1. It follows logically that the person the owner or tenant seeks to have thrown out of the residence, must not have a legal right to live in the house. For example, the person the plaintiff intends to remove must not be a co-tenant or a co-owner of the home. If they are a co-tenant or a co-owner, an eviction action or perhaps an ejectment action (if title needs to be quieted, etc.) is the proper remedy.
  2. If there is evidence of a landlord-tenant agreement, either verbally or by way of a written agreement/contract between the litigants, an unlawful detainer Orlando Florida case will likely fail unless uncontested and a default judgment is granted, albeit potentially erroneously and subject to appeal or vacation of a writ for possession. There is a narrow window of approximately thirty days to appeal an unlawful detainer verdict. Moreover, it is important to note than an unlawful detainer judgment goes on a person’s record and looks an awful lot like a nasty form of an eviction to potential future landlords.

Unlawful Detainer Orlando Florida

Ask an unlawful detainer attorney Orlando Florida for more information on F.S. 82.04, the Florida Unlawful Detainer Statute. An unlawful detainer Orlando Florida pleading should include the dates of possession, the time line of the plaintiff’s revocation of consent for the defendant’s stay at the residence, and the defendant must refuse to leave. Therefore, notice to the defendant is critical because of their right to due process (notice and a hearing). A plaintiff cannot unilaterally throw someone out just because the mood strikes them, unless the other person leaves voluntarily.

Jonathan Jacobs helps a great deal of landlord tenant clients that are caught up in eviction and unlawful detainer actions. Call Jonathan, an unlawful detainer Attorney Orlando Florida today to ask about your rights. For more information on eviction and landlord tenant law, check out some of our blog articles: Landlord-tenant disputes, mold in your apartment, commercial leases, commercial real estate, small claims in Orlando. Civil litigation can be time consuming and expensive, but it may be your only option as either a plaintiff or a defendant. You may have confidence the Jacobs Law Firm will help you resolve your case.

Unlawful Detainer Orange County Florida

Jonathan Jacobs is a breach of contract attorney Orlando FL and unlawful detainer attorney Orlando Florida that offers consultations with clients where he will explain to you the process and the cost of pursuing an unlawful detainer Orange County Florida to help you resolve your legal issues. Call the Jacobs Law Firm today for a consultation in your unlawful detainer or contract dispute case, (407) 310-5636, or e-mail us to schedule an appointment:

Unlawful Detainer Orlando Florida