The judge was totally unfair and was partial to the defense who had an attorney.
there were no court reporter present...
can I still file an appeal so I can prepare my complaint with representation and with a different judge
You technically can file an appeal with the Circuit Court; however, based on the limited information provided in your question, it is difficult to assess whether your case would qualify for an appeal. Generally speaking, a higher court could reverse a lower court's decision based on either error in the application of the law or abuse of discretion. I suggest you contact an attorney to discuss your options.
If the judge's decision was based on findings of fact, then it will be extremely difficult to prevail on appeal. Under Flroida law, an appellate court typically cannot reverse a lower court based on the lower court's factual findings unless there is a transcript of the proceeding for the appelate court to review. There are some exceptions to this rule, so I do recommend you consult with an appellate attorney in your area to see whether your case is appealable.
DISCLAIMER: Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship. This response is meant for general informational purposes only, and you should not use, interpret, or rely on this response as legal advice or opinion. Please consult with an attorney for specific legal advice pertinent to your situation.
Employment / Labor Attorney
Many small claims court hearings are recorded on audio by the court clerk. Check with the clerk's office and find out if an audio hearing was made in your case.
If you want to appeal, you most likely only have 30 days past the date the judgment was entered into the court record so be aware of the time limitation.
When you file an appeal, you will not be allowed to prepare a new complaint and get a different judge to retry the case. The only thing considered on appeal is if the Judge made an error in applying the law.
Often when people wait to obtain an attorney until after they have lost a hearing or trial there is little the attorney can do because the record has already been created. Next time hire an attorney before the hearing.
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