County Civil FAQs

What is a County Civil Case?

County Civil includes Evictions, Evictions and Back Rent, Auto Negligence, Bad check, Breach of Contract, Monies due on account, Damages, etc for all Civil matters more than $8,000 and Less than $30,000.

Where is the Civil Department located?
Clerk of the Circuit Court

Circuit Civil Division

500 Whitehead Street
Key West, FL 33040
305-292-3458
FAX: 305-295-3970

Clerk of the Circuit Court

Circuit Civil Division

3117 Overseas Highway
Marathon, FL 33050
305-289-6027
FAX: 305-289-1745

Clerk of the Circuit Court

Circuit Civil Division

88770 Overseas Highway

Ste 2

Plantation Key, FL 33070
305-852-7145
FAX: 305-852-7146

County Criminal FAQ’s

What is a misdemeanor?

According to Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, “Offenses lower than felonies and generally those punishable by fine or imprisonment otherwise than in penitentiary”...

How can I change my court date?

If your court date has already been set, the Clerk’s Office cannot change it. If there is a problem with your date, you or your attorney should file the appropriate “Motion”.

How can I find out about a case?

To obtain information on a misdemeanor case search our online records.

Key West Clerk of Court

500 Whitehead Street

Key West, FL 33040

Marathon Clerk of Court

3117 Overseas Highway

Marathon, FL 33050

Plantation Key Clerk of Court

88770 Overseas Highway

Ste 2

Plantation Key, FL 33070

How can I press charges against someone?

The Clerk of Court does not have the authority to file criminal charges. This must be done through a law enforcement agency.

To find out more information please visit the Monroe County Sheriff’s website.

How do I pay restitution?

If you are on probation or community control, check with your Probation or Community Control Officer for payment instructions.

Telephone numbers are:

STATE PROBATION

Key West

5503 College Road Ste 205

Key West, FL 33040

305-294-7288

Marathon

3117 Overseas Highway

Marathon, FL 33050

305-289-2820

Plantation Key

88770 Overseas Highway Ste 1

Plantation Key, FL 33070

305-853-7411

COUNTY PROBATION

Read your copy of the “Restitution Order”. This document will list the provisions regarding restitution payments.

If you are not on probation or community control and you were ordered to make restitution payments to the Clerk of Courts, they should be made to the sentencing location. Be sure to indicate that the payment is for “restitution”, include your name and complete case number so payment is posted to the proper case. Money orders, or bank draft only.

DO NOT SEND CASH THROUGH THE MAIL.

Locations are as follows:

Clerk of the Court

500 Whitehead Street

KeyWest, FL 33040

Clerk of the Court

3117 Overseas Highway

Marathon, FL 33050

Clerk of the Court

88770 Overseas Highway

Ste 2

Plantation Key, FL 33070

What if I can't pay my fine?

If you are having a problem paying your fine and you are on probation or community control, contact your Probation or Community Control Officer at:

County Probation

Key West

5503 College Road Ste 205

Key West, FL 33040

305-294-7288

Marathon

3117 Overseas Highway

Marathon, FL 33050

305-289-2820

Plantation Key

88770 Overseas Highway Ste 1

Plantation Key, FL 33070

305-853-7411

The Clerk’s Office cannot pardon, defer, or alter fines imposed by the Court.

What if my payment is late?

If your payment is going to be late, notify the appropriate office. Failure to do so could result in a “Bench Warrant” being issued for your arrest.

If you are on probation or community control, call:

County Probation

Key West

5503 College Road Ste 205

Key West, FL 33040

305-294-7288

Marathon

3117 Overseas Highway

Marathon, FL 33050

305-289-2820

Plantation Key

88770 Overseas Highway Ste 1

Plantation Key, FL 33070

305-853-7411

**The Clerk’s Office cannot pardon, defer, or alter fines imposed by the Court.

How will I know when to come to court?

If you have bonded out of jail or been released by a Judge, you were notified at the time of your release of your upcoming court date.

You will be notified of any change in this date by mail. All notices will be sent to the address that you gave when you were arrested.

If you change your mailing address, it is your responsibility to notify the Clerk’s Office in writing
or in person at:

Clerk of the Court

500 Whitehead Street

Key West, FL 33040
305-295-3545

Clerk of the Court

3117 Overseas Highway

Marathon, FL 33050
305-289-6027

Clerk of the Court

88770 Overseas Highway

Ste 2

Plantation Key, FL 33070
305-852-7145

Notification of change of address is very important. Your failure to appear for your court date could result in you being re-arrested or taken into custody.

I have moved, What do I need to do?

It is the defendant’s responsibility to keep the Clerk’s Office informed of his or her correct address.

If your mailing address changes, you must submit your new address in person or by mail to the appropriate department:

Clerk of the Court

500 Whitehead Street

Key West, FL 33040
305-295-3545

Clerk of the Court

3117 Overseas Highway

Marathon, FL 33050
305-289-6027

Clerk of the Court

88770 Overseas Highway

Ste 2

Plantation Key, FL 33070
305-852-7145

Failure on your part to notify this office of your address change could result in you failing to appear for a court date. This, in-turn, could result in your re-arrest.

How do I get my criminal record sealed/expunged?

There are very strict criteria for sealing or expunging court records. Some of the requirements are:

1. You have been charged but not convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense because adjudication was withheld;
2. The State Attorney declined to prosecute;
3. You have not had any other court record sealed or expunged in the State of Florida;

You may be eligible to have court records pertaining to your case sealed or expunged. By Florida law, there are specific charges that cannot be sealed or expunged regardless of whether or not adjudication was withheld.

There are significant differences between a sealed record and a record that has been expunged.

A sealed record could be opened for inspection by a judge, you, your attorney, a criminal justice agency, and in specific situations, a prospective employer.

An expunged record would no longer exist, since the file and any references to it are destroyed.

There are fees, which will be charged for processing requests. The initial fee charged by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is $75.00. There are additional fees charged by local law enforcement agencies.

If the judge approves the motion, your record will be sealed or expunged. The Clerk’s Office will then provide certified copies of the order to those agencies that have a record of your arrest so that they may seal or expunge their records as well. The Clerk’s Office will charge you $42.00 for this service.

For additional information contact:

Clerk of the Court

500 Whitehead Street

Key West, FL 33040
305-295-3545

Clerk of the Court

3117 Overseas Highway

Marathon, FL 33050
305-289-6027

Clerk of the Court

88770 Overseas Highway

Ste 2

Plantation Key, FL 33070
305-852-7145

May I attend criminal trial?

All sessions of court are open to the public unless a judge has ordered a court proceeding to be closed.

Spectators are expected to dress and deport themselves properly while in attendance of any court session.

What is an arraignment?

A procedure whereby the accused is brought before the court to plead to a charge in a charging document, (“Information”, “Indictment”, “Citation”, etc.). The charge and rights are read to the defendant. After hearing the sentence being recommended by the State Attorney’s Office, the defendant is then asked if he or she wants to plead “guilty”, “not guilty”, or “nolo contendere” (no contest).

In some instances, the case might be disposed of at the arraignment. In most instances, however, the case is “continued” to another court event at a later date.

If the case is continued, you will be served a “Notice to Appear” while you are attending the arraignment court event. This “notice” will list the date, time, and place you are to appear for the next court event regarding your case.

Occasionally, for various reasons, the Court might change the date, time, and/or place of your next court event. You will be notified of this change by U.S. Mail. It is very important that you ensure that the address listed in the court case file is correct. If you change your mailing address, you must promptly report the change to the Clerk’s Office in person or in writing. Your failure to appear for a court event could result in you being arrested and subject to additional penalties.

If you have an attorney, he may enter a written plea in your behalf and waive your appearance at the arraignment. If not, you must appear. Be sure to check with your attorney as to whether you must appear.

What will happen if I fail to appear?

Failure to appear can have serious consequences. The Court may issue a “Bench Warrant” for your arrest and enter an “Order of Bond Estreature”, consequently causing you to forfeit the money and/or collateral you posted for the bond. Additional penalties could be imposed by the Court.

The Clerk’s Office cannot set-aside, recall, or reinstate a “Bench Warrant”. Only the Courts have this authority.

Where can I pay?

Payments can be made in person or by mail to the following locations:

Key West Clerks Office

500 Whitehead Street

Key West, FL 33040

Marathon Clerks Office

3117 Overseas Highway

Marathon, FL 33050

Plantation Key Clerks Office

88770 Overseas Highway

Ste 2

Plantation Key, FL 33070

Payments should be in the form of a personal check, cashier’s check or money order. Two party checks are not acceptable. Checks should be made payable to THE CLERK OF COURT. Be sure to include the citation number, case number and telephone number. If you would like a receipt please include a stamped self addressed envelope. DO NOT SEND CASH THRU THE MAIL.

How can I get a "criminal records" search & letter?

For various reasons including applying for certain job positions, you must furnish a copy of the results of a “criminal record” search. You may obtain a letter reflecting the results of this search by contacting:

Clerk of the Court

500 Whitehead Street

KeyWest, FL 33040
305-292-3950

Clerk of the Court

3117 Overseas Highway

Marathon, FL 33050
305-289-6027

Clerk of the Court

88770 Overseas Highway

Ste 2

Plantation Keys, FL 33070
305-852-7145

The search will only include Monroe County information.

Payment for the record search must be received before the search is conducted.
Fee charges are:
$2.00 per year per person
$1.00 per page for copies
$2.00 per document for certification

When your request is made please include as much information as possible. Each request is handled as quickly as possible in the order received. This request can be made by mail or in person at any office location.

Payment must be made before the record search can be conducted.

I need a hardship driver's license. What can I do?

Conviction of various charges can result in the Court suspending your driving privilege for a significant period of time. You might be eligible for a “Hardship Driver’s License”. Your attorney can advise you as to the process and requirements involved.

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (DHSMV), through a hearing officer, determines the eligibility of applicants for Hardship Driver’s Licenses.

For additional information, contact:

The Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (DHSMV)

Lower Keys

3439 South Roosevelt Boulevard

Key West, FL 33040

305-293-6338

Middle Keys

3380 Overseas Highway

Marathon, FL 33050

305-289-2306

Upper Keys

101463 Overseas Highway

Key Largo, FL 33037

305-853-3563

Boating, Fishing, County & Municipal ordinance violations(Beach, Noise,Litter, etc.) Civil Infractions.

These “Civil Infractions” are “payable” fines. That means that anytime before your scheduled court date, you may pay the fine and not have to appear in court.

If you do not pay the fine before your scheduled court date, or you intend to contest the charge, you must appear in court at the designated time and place.

How can I reinstate my driver's license?

If your driving privilege has been suspended as a result of non-compliance for a violation or charge in Monroe County, the Clerk’s Office can reinstate your license as long as the Monroe County suspension is the only open suspension on your driver’s license record. The cost for this reinstatement is $60.00.

The Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicle (DHSMV) can also reinstate your license for a fee of $60.00. You must have proof that all outstanding suspensions in every county in the State of Florida have been satisfied.

For additional information, contact:

The Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (DHSMV)

Lower Keys

3439 South Roosevelt Boulevard

Key West, FL 33040

305-293-6338

Middle Keys

3380 Overseas Highway

Marathon, FL 33050

305-289-2306

Upper Keys

101463 Overseas Highway

Key Largo, FL 33037

305-853-3563

I would like an attorney but can't afford one. What can I do?

Florida Statute 27.51(1) states, ”(1) The public defender shall represent, without additional compensation, any person who is determined by the court to be indigent as provided in s.27.52… ... ... ...”

By law, the Clerks Office cannot provide you with legal advice or recommend a particular attorney. This includes the filling out of documents and forms.

You may qualify for the services of the “Public Defender”. For additional information contact:

Pretrial Services

5503 College Rd., Suite 205

Key West, Florida 33040

305-294-7288

FAX: 305-295-3905

I am a witness in a criminal case. How can I obtain information?

All questions regarding court appearances should be directed to the office that has subpoenaed you as a witness.

State Attorney's Office

530 Whitehead Street

Key West, FL 33040

305-294-7707

State Attorney's Office

4695 Overseas Highway

Marathon, FL 33050

305-289-2595

State Attorney's Office

88770 Overseas Highway

Ste 3

Plantation Key, FL 33070

305-852-7349

How can I find out about tobacco possession under 18 years of age?

Florida Statute 569.11 Possession, misrepresenting age or military service to purchase, and purchase of tobacco products by persons under 18 years of age prohibited; penalties; jurisdiction; disposition of fines.,states, ”(1) It is unlawful for any person under 18 years of age to knowingly possess any tobacco product. Any person under 18 years of age who violates the provisions of this subsection a noncriminal violation as provided in s. 775.08(3), punishable by:

  1. For a first violation, 16 hours of community service or, instead of community service, a $35 fine. In addition, the person must attend a school-approved anti-tobacco program, if locally available;
  2. For a second violation within 12 weeks of the first violation, a $30 fine; or
  3. For a third or subsequent violation within 12 weeks of the first violation, the court must direct the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to withhold issuance of or suspend or revoke the person’s driver’s license or driving privilege, as provided in s. 322.056”………..

On the first and second violations of this statute, a court appearance is not required if you meet the following conditions:

  1. 1st Violation – Before your scheduled court appearance, come in person to the service counter of the Criminal Division and pay a $30 fine or select to perform 16 hours community service.
  2. 2nd Violation – Before your scheduled court appearance, come in person to the service counter of the Criminal Division and pay a $30 fine.

  3. If you do not complete steps one or two above, you must appear in court at the scheduled date, time and place as stated in the notice you will receive from the Court.

A third violation requires a court appearance. You’ll be sent a notice advising you of the date, time and place.

Landlord/Tenant Actions FAQ’s

What is a residential Landlord or tenant action?

A residential landlord/tenant action applies to the rental of a non-commercial dwelling unit and is an action filed by a landlord against a tenant or a tenant against a landlord on common disputes such as payment of rent, non-compliance or breach of a lease or rental agreement.

Who can file a residential landlord or tenant action?

A landlord (the owner or lessor of a dwelling) may file a residential landlord or tenant action. A real estate company, acting as a landlord’s agent, may also file a landlord / tenant action but cannot represent the landlord in court. If you have a commercial, agricultural or personal property lease, you should consult an attorney for the proper procedures to resolve disputes.

Do I need an attorney?

You may wish to consult with an attorney or familiarize yourself with the procedures for enforcing your rights under your lease.

What do I have to do to file a residential landlord/tenant action?

Before you can file a residential landlord/tenant action, proper written notice must first be given to the tenant. The form of the notice will depend on the landlord’s reason for terminating the lease.

Where can I get copies of the different notices required?

The Clerk’s Offices will have forms designed for use in the event of common residential/landlord disputes. There are forms landlords will need to send to tenants to terminate the lease and evict the tenant.

After I give proper written notice, what do i have to do?

There are different requirements for tenant actions. You may wish to consult an attorney or refer to the public library for detailed information.

When will I go to court?

The party served the summons will have a specific period of time in which to respond dependent upon the type of summons issued. If a response is filed or moneys are deposited in the court registry, you will need to contact the assigned judge’s office to schedule a court date. If no response is received or no moneys are deposited in the court registry, you may file a Motion for Default with the Clerk’s Office.

If the court enters a default, what happens?

If the Court enters a final judgment against a party in default and the final judgment is for eviction, you may ask the Clerk to execute a Writ of Possession if you anticipate having to forcibly remove the tenant or tenant’s possessions.

Where can i obtain more detailed information on filing a residential landlord/tenant action?

The public library will have the Florida Statutes for reference. The Landlord Tenant Handbook is also a source of information. Supreme Court Approved forms and information are available in the Clerk’s Office for individuals filing actions on their own behalf.

Small Claims FAQ’s

What is a Small Claims Case?

A Small Claims case is a legal action filed in county court to settle minor legal disputes among parties where the dollar amount involved is $8,000.00 or less, excluding costs, interest and attorney fees.

Do I need a lawyer?

No, it is not necessary to have a lawyer. Small Claims court is considered a “peoples court” and a lawyer is not required. Clerk’s Office personnel will provide you with the necessary forms for filing a Small Claims case. You may wish to consult with an attorney if there are complex legal issues or, you need legal advice on your rights and obligations. The Clerk’s Office and Judges’ Office staff cannot provide you with any legal advice.

Who can file a small claims case?

Any person(s) eighteen (18) years or older or any individual(s) doing business as a company may file a Small Claims case. A parent or guardian may file on behalf of a minor child.

What does it cost to file a small claims case?

Filing fees for Small Claims actions are determined by Florida Statutes and fees vary in accordance with the dollar amount of your claim. Other fees are required for service on the parties you are suing and are dependent on the type of service you select. A current Fee Schedule is available on this website, as well as in any Clerks Office for your information.

What information do I need to file a small claims case?

It is important that you file your claim against the right party. The additional time you spend researching the correct name could make a difference in whether you are able to collect should a Judgment be entered by the court in your favor. Copies of any contracts, notes, leases, receipts or other evidence you may have in support of your claim must be furnished for each person you are suing as well as the court. You will need to bring the originals to your first court appearance. A full explanation of your reason for the Small Claims action will be necessary. You may wish to write this explanation out at home and bring it with you when you come to the Clerk’s Office to initiate your Small Claims case.

Are there other requirements?

Any time you sue someone other than an individual, there is additional information needed to complete the necessary forms. For example, are you suing an individual doing business as a company; a partnership where there are several people doing business as a company; a corporation and are they incorporated; or an insurance company? It is important for you to research this information carefully. Assistance in determining if the person you are suing is a company, corporation, an individual doing business as a company or partnership may be obtained by calling:

SECRETARY OF STATE

General Information

850-488-1234

The Secretary of State’s web site is www.sunbiz.org.

**If you determine that the company you are suing is not a registered corporation, contact: The Occupational License Department, Monroe County Tax Collector

Is there other information I need to know?

The information contained on these pages is intended only as a guide to assist you with the basic facts of filing a Small Claims case.

What happens after I file my small claims case?

After you file your Small Claims case, each person or business you are suing must be served with a Summons to appear in court on the date and time scheduled when you filed your claim. This court date will be a pretrial conference and you should be prepared to present your case to the court. If the dispute cannot be settled at the pretrial conference, a trial date will be scheduled by the court for your case to be heard. You must appear at the trial with all witnesses and documentation of your claim. At the trial you will have an opportunity to explain your case to the judge, ask the person(s) you are suing any questions concerning your claim, present your documentation as discussed at the pretrial conference and call on your witnesses to help explain your case.

Can I have a jury trial on my small claims case?

Yes, a trial by jury may be requested by the person(s) filing the Small Claims case [plaintiff(s)] upon written demand at the time the case is filed. Someone being filed against [defendant] may request a jury trial within five days after service of Notice or at the pretrial conference.

What happens to my case if a settlement is reached?

If, at any time in the proceedings a settlement is reached between the parties, the plaintiff [person(s) who filed suit] must notify the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Office, in writing, of the settlement. If a trial date has been scheduled, the judge before whom the case is set should be notified.

How can I collect my judgment

This information may assist you with the methods available for the enforcement of your judgment. Please remember that the Clerks who assisted you in the filing of your claim are not lawyers and are not allowed by law to give legal advice. This information sheet is not intended to give you a complete statement of the law relating to court judgments, but rather a brief overview of some of the rights you may have. You may be well advised to confer with an attorney. You may wish to contact the Florida Bar Referral Service (LRS), 1-800-342-8011 or 1-800-342-8060 extension 5844.

To protect your rights as a judgment holder, if the assets of the defendent are limited, these steps may establish the priority of your judgment.:

a. Request a certified copy of your Final Judgment from the Clerk of the County Court, and have it recorded in the Official Records of any county where the defendant may own real estate. (This may create a lien on any real estate the defendant owns in that county.) You may obtain the certified copy ten (10) days after the Final Judgment is entered. You should also request the Clerk to issue a Writ of Execution.

b. Obtain a Judgment Lien by recording a Judgment Lien Certificate with the Department of State. You may access the Department of State website at www.sunbiz.org and click on Judgment Lien Information.

2. Identify and locate the defendant’s (judgment debtor) assets. You need to find out what real property (land) and personal property (vehicles, vessels, etc.)the defendant owns. The Tax Collector’s Office in the county where the defendant resides may be able to provide you with this information.

If you are unable to determine the defendant’s assets, upon your written request, the court can schedule a Hearing in Aid of Execution for the defendant to appear in court and complete a Florida Small Claims Fact Information Sheet revealing his/her assets. You must appear at this hearing.

3. Once you have discovered any of the defendant’s assets and their location, your next step is to proceed against them in order to satisfy your judgment. Two methods in successfully collecting a judgment are:

a. Garnishment - Garnishment is the taking of property of the debtor that is in the possession of another. Some kinds of assets are protected by law (for example: the wages of the head of a household) and cannot be garnished. Two readily available sources of assets, which may be subject to garnishment proceedings, are wages (other than the head of household) and bank accounts. Once you have determined what property you wish to garnish, you should file a Motion for Writ of Garnishment with the Clerk and have the Writ served by the Sheriff upon the party in possession of the property (such as the defendant’s bank). Be aware that both the Clerk and the Sheriff will require fees for their services in this proceeding. You should be aware that the garnishment procedure often varies because of the type of property to be garnished. Most garnishment proceedings are governed by Statute.

b. Levy on Execution - For information concerning this procedure and the costs associated with the levy may be obtained from the Sheriff’s Civil Office in the county where the defendant’s property is located. You should be very careful about levying upon the property of another since you may incur liability if you wrongfully levy on the property of someone other than the defendant. You are cautioned that laws change and those changes may affect the proceedings outlined above.

Exemptions: Under the Florida Constitution, there are certain properties that may be exempt from forced sale and execution as well as certain exemptions and limitations on garnishments.

If you have any questions regarding the procedure to be followed, consult with an attorney. Judges are prohibited from providing legal (non-procedural) advice as to the collection of your judgment; therefore, you should not contact the Judge’s office.

3. Satisfaction of Judgment

When your judgment has been paid in full, you must complete a Satisfaction of Judgment form and have it recorded in the Official Records of the county where you obtained the judgment and any other county where your judgment lien was recorded pursuant to §701.05 Fla. Stat. Failure to do so is a criminal offense.

Where can I file my small claims case?

To file a small claims case complete the Statement of Claims form and bring it to one of the following locations:

Clerk of the County Court

Small Claims Division

500 Whitehead Street
Key West, FL 33040
305-292-3458
FAX: 305-295-3970

Clerk of the County Court

Small Claims Division

3117 Overseas Highway
Marathon, FL 33050
305-289-6027
FAX: 305-289-1745

Clerk of the County Court

Small Claims Division

88770 Overseas Highway
Ste 2

Plantation Key, FL 33070
305-852-7145
FAX: 305-852-7146

Traffic FAQ’s

What is a Civil Traffic Infraction?

A civil traffic infraction is a non-criminal charge that can usually be disposed of by the payment of a civil penalty. A court appearance is required when the violation involves serious bodily injury, a fatality, or leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle.

Charges include pedestrian violations, bicycle violations, Non-moving violations such as; not wearing your seat belt, not carrying your driver’s license, registration, or insurance card, expired registration less than 6 months, or expired driver’s license less than 4 months, moving violations such as; speeding, running a red light or stop sign, careless driving, child restraint violations, or failing to maintain a single lane, and parking citations.

Options For Disposing of Citations

You have 3 basic options. The Clerk’s office must receive your option with payment, when applicable, within 30 calendar days of the date the officer issued the citation. Once you choose an option, you cannot change your mind. Please click on the option below for more information:

  • Pay the civil penalty
  • Elect Defensive Driving School
  • Elect a court hearing

Paying the Citation

If you choose to pay the civil penalty, you are admitting guilt and D.H.S.M.V. will assess points on your driving record for moving violations. For Driver License, Registration, or Insurance violations, proof of compliance is also required. See Driver’s License, Registration, and Insurance Citations for more information on these violations. The Clerk’s office must receive payment and proof within 30 calendar days of the date the officer issued the citation.

You may make payment in person or by mail or online at https://www.myfloridacounty.com/. If paying by mail, please remember that the Clerk’s office must receive the payment within 30 calendar days of the date the officer issued the citation. We are not responsible for lost or delayed mail. Enclose a copy of the citation and the Traffic School Affidavit with payment so that we can match the payment to the correct case file.

Payment can be made with checks or money orders drawn on a United States Bank.

NOTE: ONCE YOU HAVE PAID IN FULL, YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOUR OPTION TO A SCHOOL ELECTION.

Electing Defensive Driving School

You may elect defensive driving school on any non-mandatory case that has points assessed. These are typically your moving violations such as, speeding, running a red light, fail to maintain a single lane, child restraint.

If you elect the defensive driving school option, no judication is withheld, you must pay the discounted amount of the citation and DHSMV will not assess points against your driving record.

You are eligible to elect the defensive driving school once every 12 months and five times in your lifetime.

To elect this option, you must fill out the Traffic School Affidavit Form and pay the fine amount within 30 calendar days of the date the officer issued the citation. The forms are available from the officer at the time they issue the citation, or from the Clerk’s office.

If you lost your form, click here to print a new one in English or Spanish

You must attend a defensive driving course in the State of Florida. Courses offered in other states are not acceptable.

Once you have completed the school, you must return the school completion certificate to the Clerk’s office within 90 days from the date you paid the school election fine.

It is your responsibility to enroll in a traffic school. For information concerning traffic school enrollment, locations, and fees, please contact a traffic school. Traffic schools are located in your local yellow pages under Driving Instruction or online. Some driving school brochures are available in the Traffic Division lobby.

NOTE: ONCE YOU ELECT SCHOOL, YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOUR ELECTION.

Electing a Court Hearing

You can enter a written plea of not guilty and request a court hearing. The Clerk’s office must receive your request in writing within 30 calendar days of the date the officer issued the citation.

If you appear in court, you waive your right to paying the civil penalty amount. The Judge can fine you up to $1,000.00 in some cases. The Judge can also order you to attend driver improvement school and/or pay a penalty. If you fail to attend a requested hearing, it will result in a driver’s license suspension.

If it is impossible or impractical for you to appear in court in person, you can elect a court hearing by mail. The Clerk’s office will give you an Affidavit of Defense to complete. This form must be notarized. The Judge will read the affidavit in the courtroom. The officer and any witnesses will testify and the Judge will render a verdict. The Clerk’s office will notify you by mail of the disposition of your citation.

If you fail to appear for your court hearing, the Judge can hear your case without you being present. The Clerk’s office will notify you of the Judge’s decision.

Driver’s License, Registration and License Tag

If the officer charged you with failure to carry or display a valid driver’s license, registration or license tag, and you have proof that it was valid at the time the officer issued the citation, you may send a photocopy of your valid document, a $15.00 to $18.00 dismissal fee and the yellow copy of your citation to the Clerk’s Office. Clerk’s Office personnel will dismiss the charge.

IN ORDER TO ELECT THIS OPTION, YOU MUST ALSO COMPLETE THE “AFFIDAVIT / PLEA” FORM (PROOF OF VALID DRIVER’S LICENSE, REGISTRATION OR INSURANCE). This form is available on our website under “Forms”. Sign, notarize and return the form with your dismissal fee and copy of citation.

Driver’s Insurance Citation

If the officer charged you with failure to carry valid insurance, and you have proof that it was valid at the time the officer issued the citation, you may send a photocopy of your valid document, a $18.00 dismissal fee and the yellow copy of your citation to the Clerk’s Office. Clerk’s Office personnel will dismiss the charge.

IN ORDER TO ELECT THIS OPTION, YOU MUST ALSO COMPLETE THE “AFFIDAVIT / PLEA” FORM (PROOF OF VALID DRIVER’S LICENSE, REGISTRATION OR INSURANCE). This form is available on our website under “Forms”. Sign, notarize and return the form with your dismissal fee and copy of citation.

Improper or Unsafe Equipment Violations

If you received a citation for improper or unsafe equipment, under Florida Statute 316.610, you have the opportunity to elect a reduced fine payment.

In order to obtain this option you must have a law enforcement agency inspect the vehicle and sign the back of the yellow copy of the citation. The law enforcement agency must sign the citation within 30 calendar days of the date they issued the citation. The agency will charge you an inspection fee.

Bring or mail the signed yellow citation with a reduced payment of $96.00 to the Clerk’s office within 30 calendar days of receiving the citation.

If you choose not to have the equipment repaired, you must pay the regular fine amount.

Handicapped Parking Tickets

If you submit proof that you had a valid handicapped parking permit at the time the officer issued the ticket, we will dismiss your case for a fee. You must sign an Affidavit (disabled parking permit violation) at the Clerk’s office.

Mandatory Court Appearance

The following charges require a mandatory court hearing:

  • Leaving a child in an unattended vehicle
  • An accident involving a serious personal injury
  • An accident involving a fatality

Penalty Amounts

These “penalty amounts” can and often do change as a result of the Florida Legislature enactment of laws. If you want to know the exact amount that you owe on a citation, contact the Traffic Department or visit the service counter at one of our office locations.

The officer who wrote and served you with your citation usually indicates a fine amount on the back of the citation. Occasionally, the officer might write the wrong fine amount. This error is not grounds to have the citation dismissed or the correct fine amount altered. Should this error occur, you will be charged the amount mandated by current law.

It is your right to contest the citation in court before a judge. Should you choose to exercise this right, the Court will determine the fine and fee amounts, which could be up to $1000.00.

If you want to elect Defensive Driving School, see the school election schedule amounts.

Payable Traffic Fine Amounts
MOVING VIOLATIONS
$166.00
CHILD RESTRAINT VIOLATIONS
$166.00
NON-MOVING VIOLATIONS
$116.00
SEAT BELT VIOLATIONS
$116.00
BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN VIOLATIONS
$64.50
PASSING SCHOOLBUS ON LEFT VIOLATIONS
$206.00
Payable Speeding Fine Amounts
1-9 MPH OVER
$131.00
10-14 MPH OVER
$206.00
15-19 MPH OVER
$256.00
20-29 MPH OVER
$281.00
30 MPH OVER AND UP
Court Mandatory

Construction/School Zones

1-9 MPH OVER
$156.00
10-14 MPH OVER
$306.00
15-19 MPH OVER
$406.00
20-29 MPH OVER
$456.00
30 MPH OVER AND UP
Court Mandatory
Parking Fine Amounts
COUNTY PARKING VIOLATIONS
VARIES
COUNTY FIRE LANE VIOLATIONS
VARIES
COUNTY HANDICAP VIOLATIONS
VARIES
CITY PARKING VIOLATIONS
VARIES

Extensions to Pay, Elect School, Complete School or Provide Proof

You will be assessed an additional $7.00 clerk’s fee if you sign your affidavit in front of a deputy clerk.

Court Continuances

If you need an extension to pay your fine, provide proof, elect school, or complete school, you must fill out a request for an extension. The request must state why you need an extension. The request must also contain your address and telephone number. Your request must be made before the original due date.

Driver License Reinstatement

If your court date has been set the Clerk’s office does not have the authority to change the court date. If there is a problem you should contact the office of the Judge or Hearing Officer assigned to your case and/or file the appropriate “Motion”.

30 Day Printouts for Hardship Licenses

The D.H.S.M.V. may require you to furnish them a letter from the Clerk’s office reflecting any violations or charges you have incurred or had disposed of in the last 30 days. The Clerk’s office will charge you $7.00 for this service.

Key West

500 Whitehead Street

Key West, FL 33040
305-294-4641
FAX: 305-295-3615

Marathon

3117 Overseas Highway

Marathon, FL 33050
305-289-6027
FAX: 305-289-1745

Plantation Key

88770 Overseas Highway

Ste 2

Plantation Key, FL 33070
305-852-7145
FAX: 305-852-7146

Out of County Citations

You must pay your citation in the county in which you received it. Some counties have Out of County Defensive Driving School Affidavits. You can fill them out and send them to the correct county. You may attend a school in another county. However, you must first take care of the citation in the county that issued the citation.

Branch Locations

For your convenience, the Clerk’s office has several branch locations. You can make payment in person at one of the satellite locations.

Key West

500 Whitehead Street

Key West, FL 33040
305-294-4641
FAX: 305-295-3615

Marathon

3117 Overseas Highway

Marathon, FL 33050
305-289-6027
FAX: 305-289-1745

Plantation Key

88770 Overseas Highway

Ste 2

Plantation Key, FL 33070
305-852-7145
FAX: 305-852-7146

Change of Address

If you have changed your address and you have a pending case, it is imperative that you notify the court, in writing, of your new address so that you receive all future notices and correspondence.

Please include the following information in your correspondence:

  • Your change of address
  • Your full name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your telephone number
  • Your case or ticket number

What forms of payment are acceptable?

You may pay with cash, money order, or a personal check drawn on a United States bank.

How soon after issuance must I pay the ticket?

The Clerk’s office must receive payment within 30 calendar days from the date the officer issues the citation.

What will happen if I do not pay my citation within 30 days or complete school within the time frame?

If the Clerk’s office does not receive payment within 30 calendar days or your completion certificate within 90 days from the payment date, we will notify D.H.S.M.V. of your failure to pay. D.H.S.M.V. will begin the process of suspending your driving privilege.

The Clerk’s office will not suspend your driving privilege for failing to pay a parking ticket. However, the Tax Collectors Office may not let you renew your registration if you have certain outstanding parking tickets.

Can Monroe County accept payment for citations issued in other counties?

No. Monroe County can only accept payments on citations issued in Monroe County.

Can I pay my city parking violation at the clerk of courts office?

No. You must pay your city parking ticket at Key West City Hall, located at 1500 White Street, Key West, Florida

Can I obtain an affidavit to go to defensive driving school in Monroe County if my ticket was issued in another county?

Yes. You can come to any Monroe County Courthouse, or any satellite office, and obtain an Out of County Affidavit. The charge for the affidavit is $7.00.

Does going to defensive driving school keep the citation off my driving record?

No. The citation will show on your full driving record, but will show adjudication withheld. This means no points will be assessed. The citation will not show on your 3 year driving record.

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

No. 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 you pay the citation.

Does attending defensive driving school keep my insurance rates down?

It is up to the individual insurance company as to whether or not going to school will keep your rates down. It is best to contact your insurance company if you are unsure.

Where can I find a list of defensive driving schools?

To find a list of Defensive Driving Schools, look in your local yellow pages under Driving Instruction. Some school brochures are also available in the Clerk’s office lobby.

Will the school notify the clerk's office when I have completed the class?

No. You must send your completion certificate to the Clerk’s office. We must receive the completion certificate within 90 days of the date you elected driving school.

Driver Improvement Schools

For your convenience, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle has provided information regarding appropriate driver improvement courses and approved schools on their website.