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Florida's Cost Bond Statute

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I came across the following statute that I think can help Florida residents defending a debt lawsuit. While I see its reference online typically in connection to foreclosure cases, I believe it can be just as effective defending a credit card or other form of debt lawsuit.


Florida Statute 57.011 - Costs; Security by nonresidents, states:


When a nonresident plaintiff begins an action or when a plaintiff after beginning an action removes himself or herself or his or her effects from the state, he or she shall file a bond with surety to be approved by the clerk of $100, conditioned to pay all costs which may be adjudged against him or her in said action in the court in which the action is brought. On failure to file such bond within 30 days after such commencement or such removal, the defendant may, after 20 days’ notice to plaintiff (during which the plaintiff may file such bond), move to dismiss the action or may hold the attorney bringing or prosecuting the action liable for said costs and if they are adjudged against plaintiff, an execution shall issue against said attorney.



If you are being sued by a "nonresident plaintiff" in Florida (a corporation domiciled out of state), you have the right to demand the plaintiff file a $100 cost bond with a 30 days notice. The issue is not the ability for a bank or other plaintiff to afford the $100, but rather they will protest and will be unlikely comply with the requirement altogether. Should they fail to comply with the statute, you can then file a Motion to Dismiss, providing 20 days notice. If they choose to comply and file the bond, the practical effect means they will have to go to a bond underwriter and provide all the necessary documentation for approval, and then if filed, the attorney or law firm suing would now be directly responsible for any costs assessed against the Plaintiff should you win the case. Neither attorneys or typical Bank / JDB Plaintiffs wants to do this, and will instead protest or typically fail to comply.


Here are two attorneys's websites with helpful blog posts and discussions on how to apply this statute:





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Thanks BV80! I didn't see FSUgirl's post on this - awesome that she forced the JDB to post the bond. From my read of this topic, most Plaintiffs don't post the bond. My view is it becomes a win - win for the Defendant. If they don't post the bond, you can move to dismiss. If they do post it, the attorney and Plaintiff have to be very careful of their actions, because the attorney now becomes directly liable for all costs if they lose.

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