Electronic Filing in the Florida Courts

The Florida Supreme Court this week issued an administrative order (.pdf) setting standards for electronic access to the courts. By Ocober 1, 2009, the clerks of court are supposed to implement The Florida Courts E-Portal, which will serve as a central location for filing and retrieving court dockets.

There are some interesting tidbits. If the system is down for more than an hour, the due date of a filing may be automatically moved to the next business day. The court intends to adopt a rule to establish when an e-filing is accomplished for purposes of the record. Like the federal courts, the new state court system will allow for electronic signatures in the “s/John Doe” format, from litigants as well as judges.

In the meantime, all five of Florida’s intermediate appellate courts have a standing administrative order about when electronic filing of motions or briefs to that court is required or encouraged. Until the new standards are implimented, such filing is accomplished by e-mail. And since there is no mention of these requirements in the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, they can be a gotcha if you are not aware. For your reference, here are links to all of the standing orders on e-filing in the Courts of Appeal.