The Florida Courts Technology Commission (FCTC) is no longer dependent on the Florida Supreme Court to justify its existence every two years by administrative order. As of July 1, the FCTC’s existence is codified in new Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.236.
The Florida Supreme Court has issued in Interim Policy on Electronic Appellate Court Records, No. AOSC10-32 [.pdf]. Building on the fact that some trial courts are already keeping electronic court records, the Court noted that:
current rules of court procedure do not authorize appellate courts to utilize these electronic trial court records as the Record on Appeal, thereby necessitating the duplicative transmittion and use of both paper and electronic records.
Id. at 2. The Court declared that .pdfs would be considered sufficient to constitute the official record, whether or not indexed or searchable, but encouraged the trial court clerks to start creating indexed and searchable .pdf records as soon as possible.
The Supreme Court granted its chief justice and the chief judges of the District Courts of Appeal the power to “exercise his or her administrative authority to dispense with the requirement for a paper copy of the Record on Appeal.” ¶ 2.
By Feburary 1, 2011, all district courts of appeal are to require filing “in digital format as well as in paper.” This sounds like a tall order, but the reality is that all of the district courts already do this. They are also granted the power to dispense with paper filing altogether, when “determined to be feasible.”