Evictions are handled by our Civil Law Department. Please note, Clerk employees are not permitted to give legal advice, which includes identifying which forms should be used in any particular situation. You may want to research Florida Statutes or utilize the Florida Courts help center. It is also advisable to consult an attorney if you are unsure of how to proceed. If you do not know a lawyer you may contact Lawyer Referral at 1-800-342-8011. The following instructions list the forms and steps needed for filing an eviction.
New! Zip Code Designations The 10th Judicial Circuit issued Administrative Order No. 3-38.4 that changes the procedures for filing Landlord/Tenant Eviction cases. Cases are now categorized by the property’s zip code and must be filed at the courthouse designated for the zip code. Paperwork filed in the incorrect location will experience processing delays.
Step 1 - Initiate the Case
- Prepare and file your case using TurboCourt, the Clerk’s guided DIY Court Filings tool.
- Prepare your own forms* and file electronically through the Florida Court’s E-Filing Portal.
In-person or By Mail:
Submit forms* to the designated courthouse for the property zip code. Paperwork filed in the incorrect location will experience processing delays.
*The forms used for filing an eviction are available on the Florida Bar website. The chart below details the forms and fees that are needed for each case. Packets of forms and instructions are available at any of our three offices.
The plaintiff(s) and defendant(s) complete name, address, zip code and telephone number must be furnished at the time of filing. All documents must be legible.
|Documents Needed:||Number of Copies for One Defendant:||Number of Copies for Two Defendants:|
|Notice From Landlord to Tenant (Florida Bar Forms 1 or 2)||3 copies||5 copies|
|Executed Written Lease||3 copies||5 copies|
|Complaint for Landlord to Evict Tenants (Florida Bar Forms 5, 5a, or 6)||1 original, 2 copies||1 original, 4 copies|
|Summons (Florida Bar Form 7 or 8)||1 original, 2 copies||1 original, 4 copies|
|Property Managers - Letter of Authorization (See Clerk Document Center)||1 copy||1 copy|
|Certificate of Service (See Clerk's Document Center)||1 original||1 original|
|Consent to Case Closure After 90 Days of Inactivity Form (See Clerk's Document Center)||1 original||1 original|
|Postage paid envelope addressed to each defendant for mailing a copy of the summons and complaint. If omitted, additional postage will be charged at the time of filing.||1 envelope per defendant||1 envelope per defendant|
|Tenant Evictions for Possession Only||$185.00|
|Oath, Administering, Attesting and Sealing||$3.50|
|Issuing a Summons||$10.00 each|
|Service Fee By Sheriff|
(The Clerk's office can only accept a check or money order made payable to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.)
|$40.00 per defendant|
|Service by a Certified Process Server||Check with server to verify fee. A list of certified process servers is provided by the 10th Judicial Circuit.|
Accepted Payment Methods: Cash, money order, checks, and credit cards Accepted credit cards include American Express, Apple Pay, Discover, Googe Pay, MasterCard, Samsung Pay, or Visa. Identification is required for processing personal checks; no third party checks will be accepted. A processing fee is required for credit card payments.
Step 2 - Retrieve the Summons
- Visit the Clerk’s online court records system - Polk Records Online (PRO) - to access and print your summons.
- The Clerk can print the paperwork for you for $1.00 per page.
In-person or By Mail:
- If filed in the correct location, you will receive a summons at time of filing, or we will courier your summons to the Sheriff's Office for service.
- If filed at the incorrect location, you must travel to the correct location to receive your summons once issued.
Step 3 - File Motions, Final Judgment, and Writ of Possession
Including a check to the Polk County Sheriff for $90 to serve your Writ of Possession will save you a trip to the Sheriff’s Office to pay them directly.
- E-file the Motion for Default and Motion for Final Judgment using the Florida Court’s E-Filing Portal.
- Mail the Final Judgment and Writ of Possession to the Judge’s Office.
In-person or By Mail:
Bring or mail all documents to your designated courthouse.
Cases Initiated in Bartow:
Bring your Motion for Default, Motion for Final Judgment, Final Judgment for Possession, and Writ of Possession to your Case Management Conference.
|Documents Needed:||Number of Copies Needed:|
|Non Military Affidavit (Florida Bar Form 81)||1 original|
|Motion for Clerk's Default (Florida Bar Form 76 or Form 77)||1 original|
|Motion for Default Final Judgment (Florida Bar Form 78 or 79)||1 original|
|Final Judgment - Eviction (Florida Bar Form 9 or Form 66)||1 original, plus a copy for each party and a stamped addressed envelope for each party|
|Writ of Possession (Florida Bar Form 11)||1 original, 2 copies|
The 10th Judicial Circuit issued Administrative Order No. 3-38.4 that changes the procedures for filing Landlord/Tenant Eviction cases. Cases are now categorized by the property’s zip code and must be filed at the courthouse designated for the zip code. Paperwork filed in the incorrect location will experience processing delays.
33801, 33805, 33810, 33823, 33868, 33802, 33806, 33811, 33840, 33803, 33807, 33813, 33846, 33804, 33809, 33815, 33849
Northeast Government Center
33836, 33881, 33896, 33851, 33837, 33882, 33897, 33858, 33844, 33883, 34759, 33845, 33885, 33850
Polk County Main Courthouse - Bartow
All other zip codes not listed under Lakeland and the Northeast Government Center.
Rights and Duties of Landlords and Tenants
Under Florida law, landlords and tenants have certain rights and duties. Information on the rights and duties of landlords and tenants can be found in the consumer information section of the Florida Bar website and/or the Landlord/Tenant Law in Florida information posted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Florida Rural Legal Services
Florida Rural Legal Services (FRLS) helps low-income clients with civil cases and questions regarding housing. Full details are available on the FRLS website.
Polk County Government Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) was approved by the Polk County Board of County Commissioners, with $17 million in funding from the federal Emergency Rental Assistance program. Up to $12,000 in assistance can be provided. The program is designed to pay directly to landlords, property management and utility companies on behalf of qualifying Polk County residents. To help expedite the distribution of funds, the county has partnered with local nonprofit agencies to target, process and coordinate the applications for those in need. This program is managed by the Polk County Board of County Commissioners. All inquiries should be address to their office. Visit their website for full details.
OUR Florida is the state's federally-funder emergency and rental assistance relief program that provides qualifying renters with relief on unpaid rent and utility bills, and supports landlords and utilities with relief on lost revenue to support their continued recovery. OUR Florida is currently accepting applications for rental and utility assistance and will begin processing applications in the order in which they were received beginning Monday, May 17, 2021.