Court Announcements
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Online Live Chat Feature Now Available for Family Court Self-Help

The Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida is proud to announce the addition of a live chat feature on the Family Court Self-Help Program’s web page.

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New "Florida Courts Help" App Offers Mobile Access to Family Law Resources

New "Florida Courts Help" App Offers Mobile Access to Family Law Resources

For tens of thousands of Floridians who represent themselves in family law cases there is now an app to help navigate the State Courts System and resolve legal problems with an innovative solution from the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice.

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Upcoming Judicial Rotations

Upcoming Judicial Rotations

Updated judicial rotations for January, 2018.

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Miami-Dade County Law Library Announces Collaboration with Haitian Lawyers Association

Miami-Dade County Law Library Announces Collaboration with Haitian Lawyers Association

The Miami-Dade County Law Library, located on the 3rd floor of the Dade County Courthouse, collaborates with local bar organizations to provide assistance to self-represented litigants.

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Driver License Suspended? Drive Legal May Be Able to Help

Driver License Suspended? Drive Legal May Be Able to Help

The Miami-Dade Courts' Drive Legal program helps eligible persons reinstate their suspended driver licenses.

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Court Announcements

Friday, August 04, 2017

Florida Supreme Court Warns of Phone or Email Scams Claiming Bogus Court Proceedings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 8/4/2017

Craig Waters

Florida Supreme Court

(850) 414-7641

watersc@flcourts.org

 

Florida Supreme Court warns of phone and email scams telling people to appear in state court or pay money to courts

The Florida Supreme Court is warning of several widespread email and phone scams that try to trick people by saying they must come to a Florida state court to face charges or must pay money related to a Florida state court action.

The scams appear to heavily target those with limited English-language skills, the elderly, health-care workers, or the relatives of people who recently died – though anyone can be a target.

People can avoid being victimized with a little foreknowledge. Most importantly, state courts in Florida do not make initial contact by email or by phone to tell people to appear before a judge or to pay money. You normally would be told in person or by regular-delivery mail.

Several different kinds of scams have been reported:

  • One scam sends emails saying that the recipient – often a health-care worker – is a defendant in a “Court of Appeals” case about a “Health Care Service Violation.” In reality, no Florida state court would ever make its initial contact with any “defendant” by email.
  • A separate telephone scam targets Spanish speakers in Southeast Florida, especially Dade and Broward Counties. It often displays a fake caller ID phone number that spoofs the actual phone number of the Florida Supreme Court clerk’s office.  Usually the caller tells the intended victims they must pay money or make a wire transfer to avoid being charged with offenses like kidnapping, child pornography or human trafficking.
  • A third scam targets the family or heirs of people who recently died, claiming that someone else owes money to the deceased person’s estate. Usually the scam occurs by asking the family or heirs to pay an upfront “tax” or some other fee in order to receive payment. At least one email scam of this type included the bogus signature of a Florida judge.
  • A fourth scam widespread throughout the United States can come by phone or email and relates to jury duty. Usually it falsely claims that the person must pay a fine for missing jury duty or must disclose sensitive personal information like a Social Security number that can be used in identity theft.

Anyone receiving similar emails or phone calls should not give out any sensitive personal information and may wish to report them to law enforcement or the Florida Attorney General’s Office. The local county clerk of court also can help with questions related to jury duty.

Links or attachments in these scam emails should not be clicked or opened. They may contain computer viruses or stealth programs that damage computers or steal personal information for possible identity theft.

People who need to check any suspicious email or telephone contact allegedly coming from a Florida state court can forward them to the Florida Supreme Court at supremecourt@flcourts.org

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