Frequently Asked Questions

Can any case be appealed?

Yes. 

How many days do I have to file an appeal?

You have 30 days from the time the Order to be reviewed was rendered. 

How much does it cost to file an appeal?

Several fees are involved in filing an appeal. Please refer to the fee schedule.

How many copies of the Notice of Appeal do I need to file?

You will file the original Notice of Appeal plus one copy with the appropriate filing fees. 

Can I pick up the Notice of Appeal form from the Clerk's Office?

Our office does not have the Notice of Appeal form. You would need to seek legal counsel. You may prepare the paperwork yourself by doing your own legal research. 

Who do I call if I have a Zoning question?

Ordinances are on-line from the Municipal Code Corp. (municode.com) or a Board Records employee will make you a copy for $0.15 per page.

Where can I get a DVD of a Board of County Commissioners Meeting?

Follow the YouTube link to Manatee County Board of County Commissioners Meetings: Commissioners Meetings

If you would like to purchase a DVD, you may contact Manatee Educational Television at:  http://www.metvweb.com/

Where can get a copy of an ordinance, resolution or zoning ordinance?

These are available on our website at www.manateeclerk.com. Links are provided on the Board Records main page.

Has a child support payment been made on my case?
You can access payment information 24 hours everyday by calling the State Disbursement Unit’s voice response system, toll free, at 1-877-769-0251. The Depository does not give payment information over the phone. You can also access your child support payment information on-line at www.MyFloridaCounty.com
What can I do if the system says a child support payment was made but I haven’t received it?
If it has been longer than 7 days, call the State Disbursement Unit, toll free, at 1-877-769-0251 and speak with a customer service representative to verify that the payment was mailed to you. If a stop payment needs to be placed on the check, the customer service representative will assist you.
Can I expect to receive my child support payment on the same day each week?
No. Generally, if payments are received from a payor or employer regularly your payments will be received close to the same day each week, but there are too many factors involved in processing time at the State Disbursement Unit to predict exactly when you will receive your payment.
Payments are not being made on my child support case, what can I do?
The depository can provide you with some assistance in enforcing the Court-ordered child support obligation. If a payment becomes due and is unpaid for 15 days, the depository can send a Notice of Delinquency. If the delinquency plus fees are not paid within 20 days, a judgment is entered against the respondent. The judgment becomes a lien against any real property owned by the respondent. Assistance can be also given to obtain an Income Withholding Order to have the payments deducted from the obligated parent's payroll. Child Support Program, a separate division of the Clerk’s office, offers full enforcement services. You can contact the Department of Revenue at 1-850-488-5437 or visit the local office at 1115 Manatee Avenue West, 2nd floor, Bradenton, FL 34205 for information regarding this program
. Your personal attorney can also handle enforcement action on your behalf.
How do I change my address for receiving child support payments?
Pursuant to Florida Statute, changes of address must be made, in writing, to the Depository within 7 days. This can be done in person at the Depository counter, located in the Manatee County Courthouse or you can print and mail this form to the Clerk of Circuit Court, Child Support Depository, P. O. Box 25400, Bradenton, FL 34206.
My name has changed, how do I get it changed on my child support case?
You will need to bring the name change request along with supporting documentation of the name change (copy of marriage license, copy of court order, etc.) to the Depository.
Where do I make my child support payments?
All payments must be made through the Florida State Disbursement Unit (FLSDU) at the following address FLSDU P.O. Box 8500 Tallahassee, FL 32314-8500 To ensure proper credit, make sure the following information is on your check or money order: your full name, your social security number, your case number, the words “Manatee County." If you do not know your case number, search the on-line information or call the Clerk’s office at 941-741-4038 to obtain that information.
If I have a child support case in another county, can you access my account information?
No, we do not have access to any other county's or any other state’s records. You will need to contact that specific court for any assistance on your case within their jurisdiction. However, you can access any of your Florida child support information at www.MyFloridaCounty.com
Can I make child support payments directly to the custodial parent?
If your court order states that payments are to be made through the court or through the State of Florida Disbursement Unit, you must comply with that order. Failure to do so will create a delinquency on your case causing enforcement action to be taken.
What if I already made child support payments directly to the custodial parent?
Payments made directly to the custodial parent may be considered a gift. In order to receive credit for direct payments, a motion will need to be filed with the court (with applicable filing fees).  The 12th Judicial Circuit Court website has information, and a form available for you to download if you wish to request a credit.  There are instructions on their website explaining the forms and filing procedures.  Once the motion is filed, the Court will then make the decision whether or not you should receive credit - an order will be sent to the parties.  Once a copy of the order is received by our office, we will make the appropriate balance adjustments to the case. 
How do I obtain a record of my child support payments and balances?
You can purchase print-outs of your account from the depository. The cost is $1.00 per page plus $2.00 for certification, if needed. You can also purchase copies of documents from your court file through our Public Access Division.
My court order states that I do not have to pay support when I have visitation, does the depository automatically stop my support for this time period?
No. The depository cannot automatically assume that you have exercised your visitation. A Notification of Visitation Credit form, available from the depository, must be completed by the parent exercising the visitation and returned to the depository in order for credit to be given. If your payments are deducted from your paycheck, please submit the completed visitation form along with a note requesting a letter be sent to your employer. The depository should receive these documents no later than 2 weeks prior to the start of visitation so that your employer can be notified in a timely manner. If the payments are not payroll deducted, you can submit the form at anytime. NOTE: This only applies if your court order states that you do not have to pay support during visitation. If your court order does not specifically state this, then the depository will not credit your support account.
My child support is deducted from my paycheck and I have changed employers, what do I do?
If Child Support Program is enforcing the case, call the Department of Revenue at 1-850-488-5437
and advise them of the change. They will need your employer’s name and address. The paper work will automatically be forwarded to your new employer at that time. If Child Support Program does not enforce your case, you will need to come into the depository. The depository will furnish you with a Notice to Payor form to complete and you will need to purchase a certified copy of your Income Deduction Order ($l.00 per page plus $2.00 for the certification). The original Notice to Payor will be filed with the Clerk and you will need to purchase a copy to accompany the Income Deduction Order ($0.45).  You will then need to submit the copy of the Notice to Payor and the certified copy of the Income Deduction Order to your employer. If you live out of town, please contact the depository at 941-741-4038. NOTE: The same procedures hold true if you are the custodial parent and need to have the paper work sent to the new employer of the non-custodial parent.
My child turned 18, does that mean child support stops automatically?
No. The emancipation of the child depends on the language in your court order. If your child is approaching his or her 18th birthday, please contact the depository at 941-741-4038. The depository will be able to answer the question based on your individual circumstances.
When my children have emancipated and my case is paid in full, will I receive something from the depository stating my case is closed?
No, the depository does not send out statements when accounts are closed. If you need something stating the account is paid in full, you can purchase a print out from the depository
How do I obtain information on making or receiving payments?

By phone: Whether you pay or receive child support, you can check on payments by calling the State Disbursement Unit (SDU) toll free at 1-877-769-0251. 

Online: For information on receiving or paying child support you may visit the Child Support Information Page.

 

How do I report a Change of Address or Employment?

If you are a party to the case, it is important that you notify this office when you change your address, phone or employer. Timely updates will allow us to contact you with vital information about your case.

You can access and update your information anytime online at the Child Support E-services page. 
Click here to register or sign in to E-services

 

How can Employers assist in the child support process?

Employers play a vital role in helping children receive the financial and medical support they need and deserve. By establishing and maintaining a positive partnership with Child Support Program, together we are able to help our children reach their maximum potential.  Visit the Employer Services page for information on Reporting New Hires and Terminations and Income Withholding.

My Driver's License was suspended. What do I do now?

Driver's license privileges and motor vehicle registrations may be suspended for failure to pay child support timely or comply with a subpoena or similar order to appear relating to paternity or support proceedings. If you have received a Notice of Intent to Suspend and would like to resolve this matter please review the information on the Notice for available options.

You can check the Department of Motor Vehicles online to see the current status of your Drivers' License by visiting their Driver License Check Page.

If you want to discuss the options for getting your Driver License reinstated please contact our office.

 

 

 

How do I get a list of the funds deposited into the registry of court?

You may obtain a list through our registry of the court report

How do I file Civil Action Lawsuit and are there forms available?

The Clerk’s Office is prohibited from giving legal advice. You must consult an Attorney for filing of a civil action. The Clerk’s office does not provide forms.  For Manatee County, if you cannot afford an attorney, contact Gulfcoast Legal Services at (941)746-6151 or www.gulfcoastlegal.org, or Legal Aid of Manasota at (941)747-1628 or www.legalaidofmanasota.org.  If you do not qualify for free legal assistance or do not know an attorney, you may email an attorney referral service (telephone listings) or contact the Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service at 1-(800)-342-8011. 

What do I need to do if I have been served with a summons?

You must carefully read the summons that you have been served with, as there is a time in which you must file a response to the case. You may submit a written response to the Clerk’s office via the Statewide ePortal, in person, or by mail. If you feel you need to seek legal advice, you must consult with an Attorney. The Clerk’s office is prohibited from giving legal advice. You may also contact the legal service number provided above.

How do I know if a property had been set for sale?

You may search by the case number or by owner’s name under our Court Records. This will show you the docket of the case and the sale date will be listed under case information.

How do I get a list of Foreclosed Properties?

You may do a record search of Foreclosure cases filed through our Court Records section under case type. You may then select the date range you are seeking of.

How can I obtain a list of Properties that have been set for sale?

The list of Foreclosure sales is located on the home page under Foreclosure Sales Calendar

How do I obtain the address on a Foreclosed Property?

The Clerk’s does not keep record of the address on foreclosure cases. You will have to do further research for this information. To view more information on a particular case you may become a public subscriber at no charge and be set up to access court records in the convenience of your home or office .You may also visit our Public Access Area in the Historical Courthouse to access court records

How can I bid for a foreclosure sale online?

You must register at : www.manatee.realforeclose.com

How can I bid for a foreclosure held at the Clerk’s Annex?

It is suggested that you come in person to the Clerk's office on the day of the sale and register with the Clerk. Florida Statutes 45 require that a bidder other than the judgment holder must present a good faith deposit of 5% of your projected bid in cash or cashiers check in order to confirm a bid. You may contact the civil division for a written policy regarding foreclosure sales. Review the policy and procedures on-line.

What do I need to do if I have been served with a summons of foreclosure?

You must carefully read the summons that you have been served with, as there is a time in which you must file a response to the case. You may submit a written response to the Clerk’s office in person or by mail. If you feel you need to seek legal advice, you must consult with an Attorney. The Clerk’s office is prohibited form giving legal advice. You may also contact the legal service number provided below:
Gulf Coast Legal Service- 746-6151
Legal Aide of Manasota- 747-1628
Lawyer Referral Service- 1(800) 342-8011

If I was the owner of a property in which surplus funds are being held due to a foreclosure sale, how may I obtain these funds?

You must fill out a Foreclosure Surplus Claim form and submit it to our office in person or by mail.  The form will then be submitted to the Court who will determine if you are eligible for these funds.

What is the Clerk’s Tax Exempt Certificate Number?

#85-8012622208C-0

What is the Clerk’s Federal Tax ID Number?

#59-6000729

How long will it take me to get a refund?

It normally takes 4-6 weeks. If a credit card is used, within two months of the charge, the card will be credited. After two months, a check will be issued to the cardholder.

Why did I receive this refund?

The reason for your refund is noted in the description of your check, as well as, a reference to your court case in the invoice number column.

How do I file an Eviction Case?

We suggest that you first seek legal advice from an Attorney. The Clerk’s office has eviction forms available if you wish to file and eviction case as a pro-se litigant. You may review the forms we have available in the Small Claims section of the Forms Page. Please note: The forms available are only for non-payment of rent. The forms are also available at the Clerk’s office at our Cashiering Department for purchase. For packet purchase price please see Small Claims fee schedule.

What is the fee to file and eviction?

The filing fee varies between an eviction for possession only or an eviction and damages. Please see our Small Claims fee schedule.

How can I change my court date?

The Clerk’s office does not have the authority to change a court date. If you are represented by an attorney, including the Public Defender, please contact them with your request. If you are not represented by an attorney, you may put your request in writing, addressed to the Judge. Include your full name, mailing address, and case number. File the original written request with this office.

What happens if I fail to appear for my court date?

Failure to appear may result in the Judge issuing a bench warrant for your arrest. You may forfeit the bail posted, thus losing your money or collateral. If the offense you failed to appear for includes a traffic offense, the Judge will also suspend your driving privileges. Upon arrest, you may be held in jail with or without bond.

What must I do if the Judge ordered my driving privileges suspended?

Once you have been released from the arrest on the warrant, bring all of your paperwork to this office. You will be required to pay a delinquency fee. Once this is paid, you will be required to reinstate your driving privilege. You may be charged a reinstatement fee. 

Where to Reinstate: 

In Manatee County: Tax Collector's DeSoto Square Office, 904 301 Blvd. West, Bradenton, Florida

Out of Manatee County: at any Driver's License Office in the State of Florida

Out of State: Please contact the licensing state.

Who should I notify if my address changes?

It is your responsibility to notify the Clerk’s office of your current address, in writing, at Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court, Attn: Criminal Division, P.O. Box 25400, Bradenton, FL 34206. Please include your case number on the correspondence.

I missed my court date, how can I take care of the bench warrant?

You will be required to turn yourself in at the Manatee County Jail. If you live outside of Manatee County, you may turn yourself in to the closest law enforcement agency. Upon your arrest you will be required to post bail as required by the Judge. You will be assigned a new court date, which will be approximately 3 weeks later.

Where is the Manatee County Jail located?

The address for the Manatee County Jail is 14470 Harlee Road, Palmetto, FL 34221. It is located approximately 11 miles north of Bradenton; take US 41 north to the Port Manatee exit and turn left. Go west to Harlee Road and follow the signs.

What is my court date, sentence or assigned case Judge?

The answers to these questions and other case specific data can be found by searching our Court Records Search site. 

How can I have my case sealed or expunged?

Florida Statute 943.0585 and/or 943.059 will provide the requirements and conditions for having a criminal court case sealed and/or expunged from your record. Please read these statutes carefully.

If you need an application or have questions regarding your eligibility to have your records sealed or expunged, please contact the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. FDLE will require that you complete an application for the procedure and submit the forms to their office. The forms are only available on the FDLE website.

Upon receipt of your application, FDLE will notify you of your eligibility. For further instructions and the forms needed to proceed for court action go to our Online Forms page.

Fees for this procedure will include payment to FDLE and a service charge plus charges for certified copy paid to the Clerk.

Can I change my fine into community service hours? Or community service hours into a fine?

Please contact your probation officer for the answer to this question.

Can Court Costs/ Fines be paid with a personal check or credit card? Which credit cards do you take?

Personal checks are not accepted for the payment of court costs or fines related to a Criminal case. You can pay with cash, money order, cashiers check or a credit card. The credit cards accepted by our office are Mastercard, Visa, Discover and American Express. When paying by credit card, identification is required.

Can Court costs/ Fines be paid over the phone with a credit card?

The Clerks office does not take payments over the phone to pay for any criminal or non-criminal fines. You must mail in your payment or pay in person.

How much time is permitted to pay a non-criminal citation? Where do I pay it? Are personal checks accepted? Who should the check be made payable to?

A non-criminal citation must be paid within 30 days of the date on the citation. It is paid at the Clerk’s office. It can be paid with a personal check that is made out to “Manatee County Clerk of Court”.

What is the procedure for contesting a non-criminal citation?

You must write a letter to the Judge assigned to your case requesting a hearing. The person whose name is on the citation must write the letter.

Is it possible to pay off community service hours?

You may request to pay off your community service hours with your Probation officer, who will instruct you on what needs to be done.

Will my probation be violated if I miss one probation payment?

This will be at the discretion of your Probation officer; if you are going to be late you should always contact the Probation office.

What occurs if Court costs/ Fines are not paid by the date given by the Judge?

If the Judge gave you a specific date to have your court costs paid by and you cannot pay in full by that day you must write a letter to the Judge requesting an extension.

If a cash bond was posted for someone, how is it returned? As long as the defendant appears in court will the money be returned?

A cash bond will stay posted on a case until the defendant is sentenced in court. At that time, the cash bond will be applied to any court costs or fines assessed on the case. If the bond exceeds the amount of court costs and fines on the case for which the bond was posted, then the Clerks office will research the defendants name to see if any other monies are owed in Manatee County. This includes any civil cases, juvenile cases, traffic tickets, and any other criminal fines. All monetary obligations will be satisfied before returning the bond.

Where do I pay my fines if I am on State Probation?

Your court costs and fines must be paid at the State Probation office. The only time the Clerks office will accept payments for felony cases is if the case was referred to our Department of Financial Recovery.

What does it mean if the Judge reduced my Court costs/ Fines to a Judgment?

It means the money you owe is now a lien against you. The Clerks office will prepare the judgment and have it recorded in our Recording Dept. The amount on the Judgment will accumulate interest daily from the date the Judge signs it to the day it is paid in full. After it is paid in full with interest, the Clerks office will prepare a Satisfaction of Judgment for you to have recorded for $10.00.

If a case is in collection status, how is this paid?

Once a case has been sent to an outside collection agency payment must be made to them. The Manatee County Clerk of Court refers delinquent cases to Penn Credit. You can contact their office by calling 800-900-1380.

Where do I go to file a Divorce?

You may file a Petition for Divorce at the Civil/Family Department located in the Historical Courthouse. If you are an Attorney we suggest that you e-file your pleadings. You must become an attorney subscriber in order to start e-filing.

What can I do if I am not able to pay the filing fee?

You may apply for a determination of indigent status and if approved the filing fees may be waved.  You may fill this application out in our Civil/Family Department at the time of filing.  There is an additional fee for this service.

How long does a divorce take?

The Clerk’s office is unable to give you an exact time frame of a Divorce. This differs for each individual case. You may review the Florida Statue Chapter 61 that governs the Family Law of Dissolution.

What’s the next step after I file for divorce?

Once you file a Petition for Divorce, you will fill out a FORM A that will be sent to the Case Managers. They will review the case and contact you via-mail within 15 business days after filing.  For more information visit the 12th Judicial Circuit Court Self-Help Program.

How can I contact the Self Help Program Case Manager?

The only way to contact the assigned case manager is by filling out a Form A, Form B, or Form C and submitting this form at the Civil/Family Department. The Clerk’s office will then forward the form to the Case Manager. You may obtain this form at our Civil/ Family Department or you may also download the form through:

http://www.jud12.flcourts.org/Programs/Pro-Se-Program

How do I change my address in my court file?

You must file your change of address in writing form. You may bring it in person to the Civil/Family department or submit by mail. The clerk is unable to change an address over the phone. The following is a supreme court approved family law form: http://flcourts.org/core/fileparse.php/533/urlt/915.pdf

How do I obtain a copy of a court hearing transcript?

The clerk's office will only have a copy of a transcript if it has been filed for record into your court file.  If it has not been filed and you know a Court Reporter was present of the hearing was digitally recorded you must do one of the following:

1) If a Court Reporter was present you must contact the attorney who hired the Court Reporter in order to obtain their contact information.

2) If the hearing was digitally recorder, you may contact the digital Court Reporters at 941.749.3600 ext. 7109.

What positions are open at the Clerk’s office? How do I apply for a position?

The Employment Opportunities page will give you directions to apply for a position.

What types of careers does the Clerk have to offer?

There are over 200 positions available. These positions include clerical, management, accounting, auditors, and technical positions. 

Due to the size of the Clerk’s office, there is a continued need for qualified applicants. Please visit the Employment Opportunities page for a listing of current positions.

Where can I get an application?

We no longer accept paper applications. To review our open positions and/or apply for a position, visit our Employment Opportunities page.

What if I don’t have a computer at home?

If you do not have access to a computer of your own, you may apply online at any computer with Internet access.

How do I apply for more than one posted position?

Applicants, who wish to be considered for more than one position, must select and apply for each position they are qualified for to be considered for jobs. Your initial application can be saved and used to apply for more than one opening.

How can I make changes to an application that has been submitted?

Once applications are submitted for a position, they cannot be altered. However you can update your application online for future openings.

How do I check on the status of my application?

At any time you can log back into our online application system by clicking here . After you’ve logged in with your user name and password, you can check the status of your application.

When will I be called for an interview?

If the Supervisor of the open positions wishes to interview you, s/he will contact you directly via phone.

What kind of background screening is conducted prior to employment with the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office?

When a conditional offer of employment is made, the selected applicant will undergo a drug screen and a criminal background check. Upon successful completion of these screenings, the applicant will be given a hire date and scheduled for orientation.

Are the salaries and benefits of the Clerk’s office competitive?

Human Resources Department participates in several salary and benefits surveys each year to ensure that our total compensation package is competitive locally for both the public and private sectors.

What is the primary function of the Internal Audit Department?

The primary function of the Internal Audit Department is to perform financial, compliance and operational audits of Departments under the Board of County Commissioners and other agencies receiving funds from the Board of County Commissioners. Internal Auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization's operations. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes.

How can I get a copy of an audit report?

Copies of audit reports can be either reviewed on-line or a hard copy can be mailed or picked up at the Internal Audit Department's office located in the Courthouse at 1115 Manatee Avenue West in Bradenton, 941-741-4017.

Does the Internal Audit Department audit other Constitutional Offices?

Our jurisdiction is limited solely to the Board of County Commissioners. However, if other Constitutional Officers such as the Sheriff, Tax Collector, Supervisor of Election, Property Appraiser or the Clerk of the Circuit Court would like to use our services, they may do so by written request.

What standards do you audit under?

Our audits are performed in accordance with Generally Accepted Governmental Auditing Standards, issued by the Comptroller General of the United States; and the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, issued by the Institute of Internal Auditors.

What other services does the Internal Audit department provide?

Our Department can also provide investigative services in cases of alleged county employee or vendor misconduct. We may also provide research of industry standards or other departmental assistance defined by the requesting department.

How can I report employee misconduct, vendor abuse or County waste and abuse?

Our Department has a hotline for employees as well as the general public, to report County fraud, waste and abuse and employee misconduct. The hotline is designed for callers to leave a message and they can either remain anonymous or leave their name. The hotline phone number is 941-742-5938. Information can also be reported through the Clerk's Internal Audit Department web page. If callers would like to speak directly to an auditor, they may do so by calling 941-741-4017.

Who audits the Internal Auditors?

As part of the auditing standards, our Department is audited by independent Certified Public Accountants once every three to five years. These audits are called Peer Reviews. The most recent peer review report is available on the website and previous reports are available upon request.

What is the size of the Internal Audit staff?

Our Department is staffed with six auditors.

What are the qualifications of your Internal Audit staff?

Our staff has qualifications that include Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), Certified Internal Auditors (CIAs), and Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs)

Where do I report for jury duty?

Please report to the Jury Waiting Room located on the second floor of the Manatee County Judicial Center. Please check in with the Jury Coordinator as you enter. The clerk will check you in by taking your summons and questionnaire form.

Where do I park?

All parking information can be located on our Juror Parking Page.

How long will I have to serve?
  • Your term of service will not exceed one trial. At a minimum, you should expect to be at the Judicial Center all day (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) on the first day of your service.
  • It is often difficult to predict how long a case and your service will last. Statistics show most cases are resolved within the week. The majority are concluded within two or three days. However, cases lasting in excess of a week in Manatee County are no longer rare. Some exceptional cases may require several weeks of jury service.
  • If you are not chosen as a juror on a case the first day, under most circumstances you will be released from further service.
  • In the process of jury selection, the presiding judge will advise you how long your service may last. At that time you will be given the opportunity to express any concerns you may have about the trial schedule.
How are Jurors selected?

The list of jurors is derived from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in accordance with Florida Statute 40. Prospective jurors are randomly selected from that list. 

Jurors must be a U.S. citizen at least 18 years of age, a resident of the State of Florida, and Manatee County, and possess a driver's license or identification card issued by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. If you do not possess a driver's license, you may execute an affidavit, which can be obtained from our office.

What should I wear?

Please use good judgment and dress appropriately. The courtrooms are air-conditioned so you may want to bring a light sweater or jacket. Shorts are not permitted.

What is the payment for service?
  • Jurors who are regularly employed and continue to receive regular wages are not entitled to receive compensation for the first three (3) days of jury service. 
  • Jurors who are not employed or do not continue to receive regular wages while serving as a juror are entitled to receive $15 per day for the first 3 days of jury service.
  • All jurors who serve more than 3 days will be paid $30 per day for the fourth day of service and each day thereafter, regardless of employment status.
Is there wi-fi?

Yes, Manatee County provides free wireless internet services. While no computers are available for use there are a number of stations for use. 

I just served on jury duty six months ago; do I have to serve again?

If you have reported for jury service within one year, you have the option of taking an exemption from service. Please login in to eJuror for further assistance. If you prefer you may mark this information on the request for excusal included in the packet you received, and return it to our office.

Can I be rescheduled for jury duty since I'll be on vacation when I'm summoned to report?

Pursuant to Florida Statute 40, you can postpone your jury service by contacting our office and rescheduling within a six-month period. Your appearance will be mandatory for the new date selected.

What are the options for excusals, exemptions or disqualification from Jury Service?

The reasons for non-service are defined in Chapter 40 of the Florida Statutes. Please login to eJuror for further assistance. 

What is the legal definition of a juvenile?

A juvenile is an unmarried person under 18, not emancipated, and who has been found dependent or a child in need of service/family in need of service. A juvenile can also be a married/unmarried person charged with violating law prior to reaching 18 years of age.

Is there a special court for juveniles?

Yes, it is called Juvenile Court. Juvenile Court has its own Judge and set of attorneys.

Can the public attend juvenile court hearings?

Usually the only people to attend a juvenile hearing are the juvenile, his or her parents or guardians, the victim of the crime and attorneys. Anyone else wishing to sit in on Juvenile Court must have prior court approval by calling 941-749-3600.

What types of crimes are handled by juvenile court?

The Juvenile Court handles the same crimes as the adult courts do.

Will I have a criminal record even if I am found not guilty of the charge(s) against me?

If you are found not guilty of the crime with which you were charged, you would not have a criminal record. However, your arrest record will remain with you forever.

Is there someone available to assist me in the Law Library?

The Law Librarian can assist patrons in using the library. The librarian can direct you to specific law or form books that may help you with the legal work you are trying to accomplish.

Can the Law Librarian give me legal advice?

No, the Law Librarian cannot answer questions or give opinions of what you should do.

Can the Law Librarian tell me what form I need?

No. The Law Librarian cannot do legal research for you. The Law Librarian can only direct you to specific law books or formbooks. The Law Librarian cannot tell you what format you'll need, help you fill out forms, or once you find the format you think you need, verify that it is correct.

If the Law Librarian can't help me, who can?

In doing legal work it is always best to get an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may wish to contact the following services:
Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc. 941-746-6151
Legal Aid of Manasota 941-747-1628
Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service 1-800-342-8011

Can I make copies in the Law Library?

Yes, there is a coin-operated copier located in the law library. Please bring proper coin change with you. The charge is $ 0.20 cents per copy.

What is needed to apply for a Marriage License?

Both Parties must be present with a valid State or Government Issued Identification. There may be other requirements if the Applicant is under the age of 18. Please visit our Marriage License web page for more information.

Is a blood Test required ?

No. Blood Tests are no longer required in the state of Florida

May I apply for the Marriage License and get married the same day?

Out-of-State Residents are able to apply and have their ceremony performed the same day as the 3-day waiting period Florida Law does not apply. Florida Residents may have the 3-day waiting period waived if they present a Certificate of Completion of Premarital Preparation Course from a qualified registered course provider.

How soon do I need to apply for my Marriage License?

Florida marriage license are valid for 60 days from the effective date. The marriage ceremony must be performed between the effective date and the expiration date on the license.

Must I apply for a marriage license in the county where I live?

No. A marriage license may be applied for and solemnized in any Florida county.

Who may perform marriage ceremonies?

The following individuals may perform marriage ceremonies:
All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel, elders in communion with a church, or other ordained clergy. All judicial officers, including retired judicial officers, Clerks of the Circuit Courts, and public notaries of this state. "Quakers" or "Friends," may perform marriages in the manner and form used or practiced in their societies.

May I get married in the Clerk’s office?

Yes. Deputy clerks are authorized and available during normal working hours, Monday through Friday, to perform ceremonies. No appointment is necessary. Please review our fee section for ceremonies.

How long does it take to get a copy of our marriage record?

You will receive a certified copy of your marriage certificate within 7- 14 days after the officiator returns it to our office to be recorded.

What do I need to do to apply for a passport?

Please review our requirement information located on our Passport Page 

Do I need to make an appointment to apply for my passport?

No. The Clerk’s office does not set appointments. You may come in to our office Monday through Friday from 8:30-4:30.

How long does it take to receive the passport?

The time frame changes constantly for the most recent expected time please visit the U.S.Department of State website at www.travel.state.gov

How can I obtain a passport sooner than 3 weeks?

The clerk’s office is only an acceptance agent for the U.S.Department of State, and is unable to process your passport application sooner than 3 weeks. You must contact the U.S.Department of State on how to obtain a passport sooner or to make an appointment to the nearest Passport Agency Facility. The U.S.Department of State’s number is 1-877-487-2778.

What is the cost to apply for a passport?

Please see the fee schedule on our Passport Page.

May I obtain passport pictures at your office?

Yes. You may have your passport pictures taken here for an additional charge.
Please see our fee schedule on our Passport Page.

What do I need to obtain a passport for my child?

Please be aware that both parents and minor must be present to apply for a minor’s passport.
For further information and requirements, please review our requirement information located on our Passport Page.

How do I renew my passport?

If your passport has been expired for less than 5 years, you must renew your passport through the mail. You may visit the U.S.Department of State’s website to obtain an application at www.travel.state.gov. You may also obtain an application through our office. If you passport has been expired for more than 5 years you must apply for your passport through the Clerk’s office. Please review our requirement information located on our Passport Page.

May I renew my child’s passport through the mail?

No. You must renew the minor’s passport through the Clerk’s office. Please be aware that both parents and minor must be present to apply for a minor’s passport. You must present the long form Birth Certificate along with the expired passport.
For further information and additional requirements, please review our requirement information located on our Passport Page.

What is the difference between a passport card and book?

The Passport book you may travel anywhere and by any form of transportation.
The Passport card you may only travel to Mexico, Canada, Caribbean Islands, and Bermuda by land or sea.

How can I apply for the passport card?

Please review our requirement information located on our Passport Page.

What is the cost for the passport card?

Please see the fee schedule on our Passport Page.

How do I find out if an estate has been filed on someone?

You may access the public records through the Clerk's website under court access. You can obtain information on the entire contents of the probated estate by searching under the name of the deceased.

What documents must accompany the form for filing a Disposition for Personal Property without Administration?

The instruction sheet that comes with the form for Disposition of Personal Property without Administration, explains what is needed.

Who may serve as guardian?

Any adult resident of Florida can serve as guardian. A close relative of the ward who does not live in Florida can also serve as guardian. Persons who have been convicted of a felony or who are incapable of carrying out the duties of a guardian cannot be appointed. Institutions such as a bank trust department, a non-profit religious or charitable corporation, or a public guardian can be appointed guardian, but a bank trust department may only act as guardian of the property. The court gives consideration to the wishes expressed by the incapacitated person in a written declaration of pre-need guardian or at the hearing.

What does a guardian do?

A guardian who is given authority over any property of the ward shall inventory the property, invest it prudently, use it for the ward's support, and account for it by filing detailed annual reports with the Court. In addition, the guardian must obtain Court approval for certain financial transactions. The guardian of the ward's person may exercise those rights that have been removed from the ward and delegated to the guardian, such as providing medical, mental and personal care services and determining the place and kind of residential setting best suited for the ward. The guardian of the person must also present to the Court every year a detailed plan for the ward's care.

Is a guardian accountable?

Yes. Guardians must be represented by an attorney who will serve as "attorney of record." Guardians are usually required to furnish a bond and may be required to complete a court-approved training program. The Clerk of the Court reviews all annual reports of guardians of the person and property and presents them to the Court for approval. A guardian who does not properly carry out his or her responsibilities may be removed.

Is a guardianship permanent?

Not necessarily. If a person recovers in whole or part from the condition that caused him or her to be incapacitated, the Court will have the ward reexamined and can restore some or all of the person's rights.

Is a guardianship the only means of helping an incapacitated person?

No. Florida law requires the use of less restrictive alternative to protect persons incapable of caring for themselves and managing their financial affairs whenever possible. If a person creates an advance health care directive and a durable power of attorney or revocable living trust while competent, he or she may not require a guardian in the event of incapacity.

What about guardians for minors?

A child's parents are the child's natural guardians and in general may act for the child. In circumstances where the parents die or become incapacitated or if a child receives an inheritance or proceeds of a lawsuit or insurance policy exceeding $15,000, the Court must appoint a guardian. Both parents or a surviving parent may make and file with the Clerk of the Court a written declaration naming a guardian of the child's person or property to serve if both parents die or become incapacitated. A guardian may also be designated in a will in which the child is a beneficiary.

How much does a copy cost?

As set forth in Chapter 28, Florida Statutes, copies of the record are to be provided only upon payment of a fee prescribed by law: document (8 1/2"x 11") fee is $1.00 per page, certification fee $2.00 per certification, record search fee $2.00 per year searched if the case number is not provided, Certificate of Clerk is $7.00, and document (18"x 24") fee is $5.00 per page. Documents will be sanitized of confidential information such as, but not limited to, the social security number.

Can I get a copy of the plat map to my subdivision at the Courthouse?

Visit the section of our web site called PLAT SEARCH to view your plat on-line. You can also get a copy at the Courthouse.

Can I do a criminal background check in this office?

No, the Clerk’s office does not have access to statewide records. The clerk can assist with Manatee County records only. See the list below for assistance concerning criminal background checks.

Countywide criminal background
Countywide background checks can be obtained in person, or by mail.

To request the information in person, come to the Records Section located at:
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office
Records Section
600 301 Boulevard West, Suite 202
Bradenton, Florida 34205
Office Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 6:30 pm
Closed Weekends and Holidays

To request the information by mail, write to:
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office
Records Section
600 301 Boulevard West, Suite 202
Bradenton, Florida 34205

Statewide criminal background checks
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
User Services Bureau Criminal History Services
P O Box 1489 Tallahassee, FL 32302
850 - 410 – 8109
www.fdle.state.fl.us

Nationwide criminal background checks
FBI CJIS Division – Record Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306
304 - 625 – 3878
www.fbi.gov

I would like to email my request. What is your email address?

Our email address is clerkscopycenter@manateeclerk.com. After receiving your request, a clerk will correspond in a timely manner.

What document images are not available online?

Many statutes and court orders govern the availability of records. Generally access to records through the website can be grouped as follows:

  • (Viewable) - Public Records – Records open for public viewing

  • (Viewable on Request) - Records which have a higher probability for sensitive information and require manual review prior to release for public viewing

  • (Confidential) - Non-Public Records – Records (which may be entire cases or specific documents) which are not available for public viewing
    Specifically, there are several exceptions for records access online that are available at the Clerk’s office.

These include some family law cases, probate cases, military discharges, and death certificates. FS 28.2221(5)(a)

How come the SSN, etc. has a black line through it?

Information that is exempt from public records is redacted from documents; the primary method for redaction is to conceal the information resulting in the “blackout” appearance on the document.

If I come into the courthouse, is it possible to see the SSN, etc. on the Clerk’s computers (Public Access)?

No. The clerk must keep social security numbers, bank account, debit, charge, and credit card numbers confidential and exempt from the public viewing. F.S. 119.0714

How come I can’t see the paper file?

Since 2001, court records have been captured and maintained as electronic images. The electronic systems have complex rules which provide security based on case type, document type, statutory requirements, and specific court direction. Statutory required redactions and security requirements are managed efficiently through our electronic records systems. In order to protect the security of limited access records, the use of paper file records is kept to a minimum.

Do I have to give my name or tell you why I want to look at a file?

Anyone may view a public record without providing information on who they are or why they wish to view the record. Certain non-public records have limited access as provided by statutes or court orders and may require identification to confirm an individual’s interest and authority to view the record. Non-public records will be maintained without public access.

When will I be able to see all the images?

Only public images or images that have been redacted to protect non-public information will be available online while others will have limited access. Publicly available images are processed, identified, and have security applied prior to release for viewing. The viewing of publicly available images varies due to the complexities of the statutes, rules, and court decisions related to public records and exemptions.

How do I become a legal resident of Florida?

If you were born in Florida and have never established legal residency in another state, you are a legal resident of Florida. If you were not born in Florida, to become a legal resident you can either register to vote with the Supervisor of Elections or fill out and record a Declaration of Domicile with the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the recording department.

How can I obtain a copy of the land survey of my property?

Land surveys are not recorded or filed with the Clerk's office. To obtain a copy, you will need to contact the land surveyor who performed the survey. If there is a mortgage on the property, sometimes the mortgage holder has a copy of the survey in their records.

How can I find out the property owner for an address or piece of property?

This information is available from the Manatee County Property Appraiser.

Where can I get a copy of a birth or death certificate?

If the birth or death took place in Manatee County, you can obtain a copy from the local Bureau of Vital Statistics, which is located at the Manatee County Health Department.

How far do the Records in Manatee County go back? Is it possible to find information from the 1800's?

Manatee County's records date back to the 1850's and are kept in the Historical Records Library

How do I place a lien against someone's property?

It is important to read Florida Statute 713, which governs liens. If you still have questions, you will need to contact an attorney.

How do I register my fictitious name?

You can get an information packet and register a fictitious names with the Secretary of State in Tallahassee.

Can I get a copy of the plat map to my subdivision at the Courthouse?

Visit the section of our web site called PLAT SEARCH to view your plat on-line. You can also obtain a copy at the Courthouse in our Public Access division.

How do I file a Small Claims Case?

The Clerk’s office has Small Claims Paperwork available to file as pro-se litigants. You may download the forms from the Small Claims Section of the Forms Page

What is the fee to file for Small Claims?

The filing fee varies from the amount of the lawsuit. Please see our fee schedule

What is the jurisdictional amount for a Small Claims case?

You may file a small claims case if the money damages do not exceed $5000.00

How do I file a Small Claims Case due to a vehicle accident?

The Clerk’s office has Small Claims Paperwork available to file as pro-se litigants. Please make sure to download the appropriate form for Auto Negligence. You may download the forms from the Smaill Claims section of the Forms Page.

I live in Manatee County and the other Party lives in another County, Where do I file?

When filing Small Claims, the correct venue is necessary to avoid a dismissal. We strongly suggest that you consult with an attorney or research this issue in the law library before filing, as fees are not refundable if the case is dismissed and the Clerk is prohibited from giving legal advice.

What happens after I receive a Final Judgment on my Small Claims Case?

For information on how you may collect your money after a Judgment is rendered visit our How to Get Your Money Page. Please note: The Clerk is unable to assist you with any post judgment proceedings.

How can I find out if there are any liens or encumbrances on a property coming up for tax deed sale?

A Property Information Report ownership and encumbrances report is provided in the file maintained on each property to be sold at a tax deed sale. The files are available for the public to review on the Clerk's website www.records.manateeclerk.com. Search under Court Records, and enter a case number (example 2018TD000001AX)

What do I need to do if I want to bid or win a bid on a Tax Deed sale?

Tax Deed Sales are conducted online at www.manatee.realforeclose.com; instructions regarding deposits, bidding, and payments can be found on their website.

Who gets sent to Teen Court and by whom?

Any juvenile who breaks the law and is charged with any misdemeanor, has no prior record and admits guilt. Referrals come to us from the Department of Juvenile Justice and Juvenile Court.

What offenses may be diverted to Teen Court?

The Manatee County State Attorney’s Office has pre-approved that ANY misdemeanor can be diverted to Teen Court. The only exception to this rule is a child accused of domestic battery when the victim is a parent/guardian. Also, no child may be referred that has been charged with any offense that is sexual in nature or gang related. In addition, non-violent felonies may be referred to Teen Court at the discretion of the Juvenile Court Judge and approval of the State Attorney.

Is Teen Court mandatory?

Once a case is referred to TC/TCT, attendance and participation are mandatory. If a teen does not attend or participate, the case will be sent to Juvenile Court/State Attorney for prosecution. Most teens participate fully and appreciate the Teen Court experience.

What if I don’t or can’t show up for my Teen Court intake appointment?

If you don’t show up and you were referred, you should call the office to speak with the Coordinator, otherwise your case will be closed and forwarded to Juvenile Court/State Attorney. If you can’t show up, please call our office in advance at 941-741-4027.

What happens in Teen Court?

Peers of the defendants occupy the roles of the attorneys, clerk, bailiff and the jury. The attorneys come early on court days, look over the docket and the cases and they decide who is going to prosecute or defend each defendant whose case is being heard that day. At a previously determined hour, the Judge enters the courtroom and we begin the first case. Each attorney makes opening statements, then we have the questioning period during which time the defendant, under oath, goes to the witness box and answers questions about the incident. The jury then listens to the defendant, observes his/her demeanor and assimilates the information. After the questioning is over, we have closing arguments during which time the attorneys ask for a specific sentence. The judge instructs the jury to go into the Jury Deliberation Room, pick a foreperson and unanimously arrive at a sentence. The sentence will be 15-60 hours of community service work and 3-8 jury duties. In addition some of the following sanctions may apply; letters of apology, essays, curfew, house arrest, suspension of driver’s license, if necessary drug classes and if applicable, restitution must be paid. The defendant and parents then sign a contract agreeing to complete the conditions within a prescribed time frame. If the sanctions are not completed within the prescribed time frame, the case will be closed and forwarded to Juvenile Court/State Attorney for prosecution.

When and where is Teen Court held?

We meet on the 4th floor of the Manatee County Judicial Center located at 1051 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton. Typically court is held every Tuesday evening throughout the year, however court may not be held during a holiday week (please refer to our Teen Court Dates and Information Page). Youth must report by 5:15 PM and court is normally concluded by 7:15 PM.

Can anyone sit in and watch Teen Court hearings?

If someone wishes to observe our courtrooms, please notify us in advance by calling 941-741-4027 so we know who to expect. Also we require confidentiality for the participants present that evening and swear an oath of confidentiality prior to court starting.

How can I volunteer with Teen Court?

Adult and youth volunteers are always welcome to attend on Tuesday evenings (please refer to our Teen Court Dates and Information Page) or you may call our office for more information. 

Who decides the Defendant's punishment?

The Teen Court jury decides on the sentence, fills out the sentencing form and pronounces the sentence to the Defendant in open court.

What happens if I don’t complete the Teen Court program?

The case will be referred to Juvenile Court/State Attorney for prosecution. The State Attorney may file formal charges and the Defendant will be required to appear in Juvenile Court.

What is a civil traffic infraction?

Under the Florida statutes, a civil infraction traffic ticket is a case in which a person is suspected of committing a non-criminal traffic infraction. These violations are classified as either moving, non-moving or bicycle/pedestrian. A moving violation normally assesses points against the driver license while non-moving and bicycle/pedestrian violations do not. These violations are not punishable by incarceration and there is no right to trial by jury or to court appointed counsel. Examples of Moving Violations are careless driving; fail to yield at a stop sign, etc. Examples of Non-Moving Violations are no seat belt, improper parking, etc.

In most instances, a civil traffic infraction may be disposed of by:

  • A payment of a civil penalty, otherwise known as a fine
  • The election and completion of an authorized driver improvement course
  • A hearing before the Court

You may request any of these options by completing the Traffic Citation Option Form and returning it to the Clerk of the Court within the time allowed

What options are available for disposition of a civil traffic infraction?

Pay the fine

  • You must make payment to the Clerk of the Court within 30 calendar days of the date the citation or ticket was issued.
  • Citations may be paid by cash, check, money order or credit card.
  • You may make payment in person, through the mail, by phone *(855-984-1187)*, online at www.myfloridacounty.com/ttpay, or at any Amscot. *Cannot elect Traffic School using this payment option.*
  • You may verify the correct amount of the civil penalty through the Clerk's Fee Schedule.
  • Failure to pay within this time period may result in suspension of your license and an assessment of reinstatement fees, and late fees.

Attend driver improvement

In accordance with Florida Statute 318.14 (9), anyone holding a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) is prohibited from electing driving school.

  • You may choose this option no more than once every 12 months and no more than 5 times in your lifetime. 
  • You must complete and return the completed Traffic Citation Option Form along with the applicable payment to the Clerk of Court within 30 calendar days from the date the citation or ticket was issued.
  • School must be elected and fine paid within 30 calendar days from the date of your citation.
  • School must be completed and the certificate of completion returned to the Clerk of Court within 90 days from the date of your payment.
  • Failure to attend school timely and return your certificate of completion to the Clerk of Circuit Court Manatee County will result in points being assessed to your driver's license, additional penalties, and possible suspension of your driving privilege.
  • You may attend any Driver Improvement course approved by the State of Florida in any county in Florida. For a list of approved driver improvement schools visit the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website.
  • You may receive mail from private Driver Improvement Schools through the mail or you may contact local schools for additional information.  You will be required to complete a 4 hour basic driver improvement course (BDI). You will find them listed in the phone directory under "Driving Instruction" or at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor vehicles website Driver Improvement School.

Request a Court Hearing - Deny the violation

  • You must notify the Clerk in writing or in person within 30 days of the date the citation was issued to request a civil hearing be scheduled. You may use the Traffic Citation Option Form.
  • You will receive a notice from the Clerk advising you of the date and time of your hearing.
  • The law enforcement officer that issued the citation will be present at your hearing, as well as any witnesses listed by the officer.
  • You are responsible for making sure any witnesses you want to testify appear at your hearing.

If the Court finds you committed the offense, you may be ordered to pay a fine up to $500.00, court costs and/or attend driver improvement school.

Where do payments for traffic citations get mailed?

Manatee County Clerk of Court
Attn: Traffic Department
P.O. Box 25400 
Bradenton, FL 34206 

What forms of payment are acceptable for a traffic citation?

You may pay with cash, money order, or a personal check drawn on a United States bank, we also accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

If paying your traffic fine by mail, please make checks payable and send to:
Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court
Attn: Traffic Division
P.O. Box 25400
Bradenton, FL 34206-5400

What are the procedures for handling a citation for failure to carry or display a driver’s license, registration, and/or a license tag?

If the officer charged you with no/failure to carry or display a valid driver's license, registration, license tag, proof of insurance and you have proof that it was valid at the time the officer issued the citation, you may submit proof of your valid document(s), a dismissal fee (see Traffic Fee Schedule for fee amount), and the copy of your citation to the Clerk's Office. Clerk Office personnel will dismiss the charge.

Which citations require a mandatory court appearance?

The following charges require a mandatory court hearing:

  • Leaving a child in an unattended vehicle
  • An accident involving a serious bodily/personal injury
    If found guilty of an offense involving serious bodily injury to another, a mandatory fine of $500.00 and a mandatory license suspension of 3 months shall be imposed
  • An accident involving a fatality 
    If found guilty of an offense involving a fatality, a mandatory fine of $1,000.00 and a mandatory license suspension of 6 months shall be imposed
  • Passing on enter/exit side while bus is stopped
  • Speed 30+ MPH in excess of posted speed limits
What steps do I take after I complete the driver improvement school?

Whether you attend a driver improvement school in Manatee County or in another Florida county, you must present proof of completion of the driver improvement school to the Manatee County Clerk's Office within 90 calendar days of the date you elected the option.

Does attending defensive driving school keep the citation off my driving record?

The citation will show on your full driving record, but will show adjudication withheld. This means no points will be assessed.

Can I elect to attend defensive driving school after I have paid my citation?

Once you pay your citation, you have made your one election for that violation. If you wish to attend school, you must make that election at the time of payment.

Does attending defensive driving school keep my insurance rates down?

Please consult your respective insurance company for this information.

Will the defensive driving school notify the Clerk’s Office when I have completed the class?

You must send your completion certificate to the Manatee County Clerk’s Office within 90 calendar days from the date the option was elected. The clerk does not accept notification from the traffic schools.

What if the price of the ticket is different from what the officer gave on the citation?

The Clerk’s office is required to collect the correct amount as required by Florida statute even if the officer may have written an incorrect amount.

Can the Clerk’s office notify me of the amount of points I have on my license?

The Clerk’s office can provide a printout of your driving record (see Traffic Fee Schedule for fee amount). You may also contact the appropriate Drivers License Bureau to find out how many points are assessed against your license.

What do I do if my citation has been sent to collections?

You must contact Penn Credit Recovery at 1-800-900-1380. You will be required to remit payment in full for the original fine, late fees, and a collection fee prior to receiving clearance documentation.

Where can I obtain a petition form?

To request a petition or for inquiries regarding your property assessment, homestead exemption, or other determination made by the Property Appraiser, contact: The Property Appraiser's Office. A form can also be obtained from the Board Records Department, 941.741.4018 or from the Value Adjustment Board section on the Board Records Page.

The petition form asks for the amount of time a petitioner should request for a hearing. How much time should be requested?

The petitioner should request as much time as they estimate they will need to present their case. Most hearings take between fifteen (15) and thirty (30) minutes.

Is there a fee for filing a petition?

Yes. Pursuant to Florida Statute 194.013, Petitions shall be filed with the appropriate filing fee, as follows:

Single petition - $15.00 per parcel

Single petition for: 1) condominium association, cooperative association, or homeowners' association; and 2) more than one contiguous, undeveloped parcel – if the Property Appraiser determines such parcels are similar in nature (such determination must be in writing from the Property Appraiser) - $15.00, plus $5.00 per additional unit/parcel.

Where do I mail the petition?

Completed petitions MUST be mailed to: Value Adjustment Board Clerk, 1115 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL. 34205. Be sure to enclose your check made payable to: Clerk of the Circuit Court. Do not return your petition to the Property Appraiser's Office.

What if I file my petition late?

Petitions filed after the deadline are considered “Late Files” and are forwarded to the Special Magistrate or VAB Attorney for review. A late filed petition must be accompanied by a statement of the reasons for the late filing and any documents that support that statement. A hearing is not scheduled unless the Special Magistrate or VAB Attorney finds there is “good cause” for the late filing. The deadline date for filing is Monday, September 10, 2018, at 4:00 p.m.

How do I know when my hearing is scheduled?

No later than twenty-five (25) calendar days prior to the hearing, you or your agent of record will be notified of the date, time, and location for the hearing. Hearings will be scheduled beginning in October, and will continue until all petitions have been considered. The sessions are scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

What supporting documentation do I need and when should I submit it?

Each petition may vary in required evidence criteria. The Clerk cannot provide information of this type as these are legal matters.
All supporting documentation and/or evidence must be submitted no later than fifteen (15) calendar days before your scheduled hearing day as required by the statutory deadline. Specific information about the exchange of evidence requirements between the Property Appraiser and the petitioner is available online at Florida Statutes, Section 194.011 and Department of Revenue Rule 12D-9.020.

No petitioner may present for consideration, nor may a Board or Special Magistrate accept for consideration, testimony or other evidentiary materials that were specifically requested of the petitioner in writing by the Property Appraiser in connection with a filed petition, of which the petitioner had knowledge and denied to the Property Appraiser.

Copies of documentation to be considered by the Value Adjustment Board, and a summary of evidence to be presented by witnesses, must be provided by the Petitioner at least fifteen days (15) days prior to your scheduled hearing to:

Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office
915 4th Avenue West
Bradenton, FL 34205

What do I need to bring to the hearing?

You should bring two copies of any documentation previously exchanged with the Property Appraiser’s Office. You may also want to bring something on which to take notes. All hearings are recorded and can be made available to you; however, feel free to bring your own recording device. You may need to wait a short time before your hearing begins, so bring whatever items you may need for your own comfort, such as a sweater or jacket, water, or reading material. All cell phones or pagers are to be turned off.

Who hears the petition?

A Special Magistrate will hear the petition. Special Magistrates include attorneys who hear exemption petitions and appraisers who hear commercial, residential, and tangible property petitions.

What is a Special Magistrate?

The VAB appoints Special Magistrates for the purpose of taking testimony and making recommendations to the VAB. The VAB may act upon these recommendations without further hearing. These Special Magistrates may not be elected or appointed officials or employees of the county but shall be selected from a list of those qualified individuals who are willing to serve as Special Magistrates. Employees and elected or appointed officials of a taxing jurisdiction or of the state may not serve as Special Magistrates.

If I am unable to attend the hearing, how do I reschedule?

The petitioner will be notified of the scheduled time of appearance no less than twenty-five (25) calendar days prior to the day of such scheduled appearance. Upon receipt of this notification, the petitioner may reschedule the hearing “without good cause” one time by submitting a written request to the Value Adjustment Board Clerk no fewer than five (5) calendar days before the scheduled appearance.

The petitioner may request a rescheduling of a hearing “for good cause” by submitting a written request to the Value Adjustment Board Clerk before the scheduled appearance, or as soon as practicable. A request to reschedule the hearing made by the Petitioner fewer than five (5) calendar days before the scheduled hearing may be made only for an emergency when “good cause” is shown. These requests will be forwarded to the Value Adjustment Board designee to determine if good cause has been demonstrated.

What if I cannot attend my scheduled hearing?

If you are unable to attend the scheduled hearing, but would like your evidence considered, you must submit your evidence to the Value Adjustment Board Clerk and to the Property Appraiser before the hearing (within the deadlines listed above). Florida law allows the Property Appraiser to cross examine or object to your evidence. The VAB Special Magistrate ruling will occur under the same statutory guidelines as if you were present.

Can someone represent me if I am unable to make my hearing? If so, who can represent me?

A taxpayer has the right, at the taxpayer’s own expense, to be represented by an attorney or by an agent. The agent need not be a licensed individual or person with specific qualifications and may be any person, including a family member, authorized by the taxpayer to represent them before the VAB. A petition filed by an unlicensed agent must also be signed by the taxpayer or accompanied by a written authorization from the taxpayer.

How do I withdraw a petition?

If you wish to withdraw your petition from consideration by the VAB, you must do so in writing. A Petition Withdrawal Form is available from the Value Adjustment Board section on the Board Records Page. The Withdrawal Form can be delivered to the Value Adjustment Board Clerk, 1115 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205; emailed to vab@manateeclerk.com; or faxed to 941-741-4089.

What is an injunction?

An Injunction, sometimes called a Restraining Order, is a Court Order which tells someone to do or not do something. An Injunction for Protection against Violence is signed by a judge and can be enforced by law enforcement or the courts. In Florida Injunctions for Protection are governed by Florida Statutes Sections 741.30 and 784.046.

Who can file for an injunction?

Injunctions filed under these statutes are intended to protect victims of violence, or in some cases, those who have a reasonable fear that violence is imminent.

Does it cost anything to file an injunction?

There is no fee to file an injunction or to have one served.

There is no fee to file an injunction or to have one served.

If the court enters an injunction, it will prohibit the respondent (the person you filed it against) from continuing any acts or threats of violence. The court may also order the respondent to vacate your residence, stay away from your residence, and stay away from your workplace. If the injunction states that there is to be "no contact" between the parties, the respondent is prohibited from communicating with the petitioner directly, indirectly, or through a third party. The respondent must obey the court's order or face criminal charges. If you and the respondent have minor children together, the judge may also award custody and order financial support for you and/or your children.

How do I file an injunction?

Come to the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Violence Protection Division. We can provide you with the forms that you will need to fill out. Once the papers have been completed you will be asked to swear that the information given is true. (Knowingly swearing to false information is considered perjury; a felony in the third degree).

How long does it take to get an injunction?

After you file the paperwork, a Judge will review your file, usually the same day. Based on the information you have given, the Judge will determine whether to sign a Temporary Injunction for Protection. If you are granted a Temporary Injunction a hearing will be set within 15 days from the date the Petition was filed. The judge may also set a hearing without issuing an injunction, or may deny the petition.

What happens at the hearing?

The judge will decide at the hearing whether to issue a Final Judgment of Injunction. The judge will specify what conditions or restrictions are to be placed upon the respondent and for what length of time the injunction will be in effect.

What do I do if the injunction is violated?

If there is any danger, call 911. Law enforcement may make an arrest, or in some cases only write a report. Anytime the injunction is violated an affidavit may be filed at the clerk’s office. The State attorney and the judge review the affidavit and determine whether the respondent will be ordered to appear in court for violating the injunction. You may be required to appear and testify if the case results in a trial.

What if my situation changes and I need the injunction changed?

Forms are available at the clerk’s office to ask the judge to modify or dissolve your injunction. The injunction will remain in force until the judge signs an order changing it. A hearing is usually required to modify or dismiss an injunction.

Do I need an attorney?

An attorney can certainly be helpful in presenting your case to the judge, but many people complete the whole process without the help of an attorney.

What are the different types of Injunctions for Protection?

Generally, Florida law states that a court can enter an injunction to protect the victim of violence under any of the four following types of violent relationships:

  • A "Domestic Violence Injunction" requires that the parties have lived together “as if a family” or have a child together. The petitioner (the person asking for protection) must be a victim of domestic violence, or have reasonable cause to believe that violence is imminent.
  • For a "Repeat Violence Injunction" the respondent (the person the petitioner is asking for protection from) must have committed two incidents of violence against the petitioner or the petitioner’s immediate family member and one of the incidents must have been within the past six months.
  • A "Dating Violence Injunction" would apply if the parties have had a continuing dating relationship within the past six months that involved the expectation of affection or sexual involvement. The petitioner must be a victim of violence or have reasonable cause to believe violence is imminent.
  • To file a "Sexual Violence Injunction" the petitioner must be a victim of sexual violence, have reported that crime and be cooperating with law enforcement agencies; or the respondent who committed the sexual violence was sentenced and the term of imprisonment is expired or is due to expire within 90 days.