Under Section 812.014 of the Florida Statutes, stealing is a crime in Jacksonville. Under Florida’s theft laws, petit theft or petty theft is usually a misdemeanor crime, while grand theft results in a felony charge. Not only will a theft case result in criminal charges in Jacksonville, it is also grounds for a Jacksonville civil lawsuit under Section 772.11 of the Florida Statutes. A person that has been a victim of a Jacksonville theft can file a lawsuit and recover as much as three times the amount of actual damages sustained due to the Jacksonville theft. This is known as treble (triple) damages.
A person that is accused of committing civil theft in Jacksonville, Florida, can defend the case on a factual basis. If the Plaintiff of the Florida Civil Theft case is claiming that the Defendant committed civil theft in Jacksonville, he or she must be prepared to prove the case. If the Plaintiff cannot prove that the Defendant committed this tort, the Plaintiff will not win the Jacksonville Civil Theft case.
In some circumstances, you can defend a Florida theft lawsuit by showing that the Plaintiff did not suffer economic loss. The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that damages can be “inadequate value, costs of repair and replacement of the defective product, or consequent loss of profits-without any claim of personal injury or damage to other property.” Casa Clara Condominium Ass’n, Inc. v. Charley Toppino and Sons, Inc., 620 So.2d 1244, 1246 (Fla.1993).
According the Florida Civil Theft Law (Fla. Stat. 772.11):
(1) Any person who proves by clear and convincing evidence that he or she has been injured in any fashion by reason of any violation of ss. 812.012-812.037 or s. 825.103(1) has a cause of action for threefold the actual damages sustained and, in any such action, is entitled to minimum damages in the amount of $200, and reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs in the trial and appellate courts. Before filing an action for damages under this section, the person claiming injury must make a written demand for $200 or the treble damage amount of the person liable for damages under this section. If the person to whom a written demand is made complies with such demand within 30 days after receipt of the demand, that person shall be given a written release from further civil liability for the specific act of theft or exploitation by the person making the written demand. Any person who has a cause of action under this section may recover the damages allowed under this section from the parents or legal guardian of any unemancipated minor who lives with his or her parents or legal guardian and who is liable for damages under this section. Punitive damages may not be awarded under this section. The defendant is entitled to recover reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs in the trial and appellate courts upon a finding that the claimant raised a claim that was without substantial fact or legal support. In awarding attorney’s fees and costs under this section, the court may not consider the ability of the opposing party to pay such fees and costs. This section does not limit any right to recover attorney’s fees or costs provided under any other law.
If you are considering filing a lawsuit for civil theft in Jacksonville, Florida, talk to a Jacksonville Theft Lawyer about your case. There are certain requirements. You must provide proper notice of the Jacksonville theft claim 30 days before filing a lawsuit. A Jacksonville Theft Attorney can help you with this. If you have received a letter threatening a lawsuit for Florida civil theft, a Jacksonville Theft Lawyer can defend you against these theft allegations.
Under this Florida law, the Plaintiff may recover his or her attorney’s fees for pursuing a Jacksonville theft case. However, if the Plaintiff does not have substantial fact or legal support to justify filing a Jacksonville theft lawsuit, the Defendant will recover his or her attorney’s fees. Speaking with a Jacksonville Theft Attorney before filing a lawsuit may help you make a decision on how to move forward with your civil theft case.