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COUNTY CLERK COMMENTS

Judicial sales

Judicial sales are scheduled by the court. Sales are held daily on the courthouse steps at 11 a.m. After the reading of the publication, bids are received by the clerk. The successful bidder is required to pay deposit and documentary stamp costs. If the successful bidder is not the plaintiff, the amount of bid plus doc stamps and clerk's fee must be paid by cashier's check by 4 p.m. the same day.

A certificate of title will be issued 10 days after the sale unless an objection is filed with the court.

A notice of sale indicating the date, time and legal description is published in the newspaper two times prior to the sale. In addition a notice of sale is posted on the county bulletin board located on the first floor of the new courthouse and the Crystal River government center bulletin board.

If you have any questions please contact the circuit civil division of the clerk's office at 637-9428 or 637-9427.

The office hours of the clerk are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday except holidays.

Tenant evictions

Tenant eviction complaints are filed in the county court/civil division. The three most common reasons for evicting a tenant are the tenant failed to pay rent when it was due; the tenant failed to comply with the rules, regulations or lease agreement; or the landlord has terminated the rental agreement.

Before a tenant eviction complaint is filed, the tenant must be given a written notice to vacate. The type of notice to vacate that should be served on the tenant depends on the reason the landlord wants the tenant evicted. A three-day notice to delinquent tenant form is available along with general information concerning notices to vacate at the clerk's office.

Anyone who is in the business of renting property to tenants should acquaint themselves with the section of the Florida Statutes that applies to the type of property that they rent, or consult with an attorney for legal advice.

Filing tenant evictions is very complex at times;however, the deputy clerks in the civil division of the county court of Citrus County will assist as much as possible without giving legal advice or opinions. They are also available to assist the tenant.

If you have any questions please contact the Circuit Civil division of the clerk's office at 637-9417.

Tax deed division

Each year, the tax collector conducts a sale of tax certificates on those lands which taxes have not been paid. Each certificate is struck off to the person who will pay the tax, interest, costs and charges at the lowest interest rate. Interest rates are not to exceed 18 percent per year. The holder of a certificate may make an application for a tax deed no earlier than two years, and no later than seven years after the issuance of the certificate. The certificate holder must pay the tax collector all amounts required for redemption or purchase of all other outstanding tax certificates plus interest, and any omitted taxes plus interest covering the land. Upon receipt of an application from Norine Gilstrap, tax collector, the office of Betty Strifler, clerk of courts, prepares a statement of costs based on the tax collector's certification. This statement also includes all clerk costs (advertising, certified mail, sheriff service). The total amount of these costs plus interest, as prescribed by law, shall be considered the bid of the certificate holder for the property. The clerk is required to advertise the land prior to the sale date and to notify all titleholders and lienholders as certified by the tax collector. Notification is made by certified mail, sheriff service and posting as defined by law. In the event the property is redeemed before the sale date, or the highest bidder is not the applicant, a refund is made to the applicant.

Tax deed sales are conducted Wednesdays at 11 a.m. in the county commissioners meeting room on the second floor of the new courthouse.

One month prior to each sale, a list is compiled with all pertinent information (legal description, etc.) and is made available to the public. Registration is required before bidding. The land is sold at public auction to the highest bidder. The successful bidder is required to make immediate payment of an amount equal to his bid plus documentary stamp taxes and recording fees. A tax deed is issued to the highest bidder.

Jury duty

Jury duty is one of the most important duties a citizen is asked to perform for his or her country.

Jurors in Citrus County are selected at random by computer from approximately 50,000 registered voters. Beginning in 1998, jurors will be selected from those who possess a driver's license or identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles or those who have availed themselves of the affidavit procedure provided by law.

Under normal circumstances, all juries required to be selected will be chosen during the first day of reporting. If selected, your trial may begin that day or you will be instructed to report on a day later in the week for which the trial is scheduled. Average trial length is one to two days. If you are not selected for any cases your term of service will be completed. Only under unusual circumstances would you be required to report on another day for a selection process.

Upon receiving a jury summons, read all information and instructions carefully. The summons provides information concerning when to report, where to report and the necessary time and date. The summons also provides special instructions for the juror prior to reporting. If, after reading the information, you still have questions, contact the jury clerk at the number listed on the summons.

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