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Higher court fees offset budget shortfalls in Florida

Contemplating divorce? As of Tuesday it cost you an extra $45. Forget to buckle your seat belt? Prepare to fork over an additional $14.50. Want to evict that tenant delinquent in the rent? It’s an extra $190.In an effort to ease budget shortfalls, the Florida Legislature voted to raise more than 140 court fees effective July 1. It’s the first time court filing fees have seen an increase since 2004, when filing fees became uniform in all of Florida’s 67 counties.

Palm Beach County Clerk of Court Sharon Bock wants the public to know that this move is from the state.”A lot of people think the courts or the clerk has some kind of ability to set these fees,” she said. “We are simply the collection agency.”

Increases range from an additional 50 cents to certify a public record to doubled fines for offenses such as driving under the influence. While the cost of a marriage license remains $93.50, filing for divorce jumped to $409 from $364. Click the following link for the whole story: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/palmbeach/sfl-flpfees0705pnjul05,0,3128762.story

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