Frequently Asked Questions
And Other Useful Information
This document contains questions that are frequently asked by filers during training sessions and submitted to the service desk.
Table of Contents
Sometimes the E-filing Portal has not charged us for some of our summons (but charges filing fees, etc.), then we get a letter from the Clerk demanding payment of the summons fees. What should we do differently to ensure the E-filing Portal charges for the summons fee?
· Florida Bar Attorneys
· Pro Hac Vice Attorneys
The Florida Bar member database is used to validate who you are when registering for a user account. The system recognized your Florida Bar Identification Number and the name that you have registered with The Bar. Please be sure to use the name registered with The Florida Bar as the name registered with the E-Filing Portal or the Portal will reject your registration.
Click here for the procedures on how to make a Limited Appearance in the State of Florida.
Once you have obtained a Portal registration number from The Florida Bar, use that number as your Bar ID on the registration page. Florida has to be selected as the State.
Yes. As a filer, you may be a part of an organization in which filing fees are exempt while at the same time accepting clients for which you will be subject to payment of fees. Your first account, if it matches The Florida Bar information, will be systematically approved. Subsequent accounts will be processed by the Service Desk.
No. There is no cost to register for an E-Filing account and there is no fee to file documents electronically. However, the statutory filing fees still apply so if you are submitting a new case, or a document that requires a fee, there will be a filing fee required in order to submit your document for filing and a statutory convenience fee based on the payment method.
No. The attorney may have more than one account and assign one of them to the Paralegal to use when filing documents on the attorney’s behalf. Both accounts will carry the name and the Florida Bar Number of the attorney on whose behalf the Paralegal is filing.
Contact your local Clerk’s Office to request training sessions or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request training.
Yes. Contact your local Clerk’s Office to request training sessions or email@example.com .
Yes. Attorneys and Paralegals may earn up to 2.5 hours of CLE General credit for attending a live presentation.
During the process of submitting the filing, fees are calculated systematically and displayed. Enter your payment method and save for later use if desired.
Credit Card/Debit Card
· American Express
· Credit Cards = 3% of Filing Fee
· Electronic Check = $3 flat rate
The payment method is validated at the time the filing is submitted however, the money is not charged to the account until the Clerk accepts the filing.
No. Payment information is not stored in the Portal. The Portal interfaces with the payment engine to obtain a hint to the filer of the stored payment methods for recognition by the filer. This prohibits organization accounts at the Portal level.
Access the Portal, Accounts tab, My Profile menu, Payment Accounts
On the Fees and Payments page:
· Request Fee Waiver
· Select Waiver Reason
· Attach Waiver Form
An authorized organizational representative should contact their local Clerk’s office and request to have a Law Firm account established for their organization. This account can be set up to waive filing fees for all users affiliated with the account. This type account is not exclusive to private firms, and may be utilized by state agencies, state attorneys, public defenders, and other public entity organizations that are eligible according to § 28.345, Florida Statutes.
No. You must have a case number to file to a criminal case. However, in some counties they are accepting criminal case initiation documents electronically to generate a new case. Check with the individual county to see their preference.
· Word Document
· Word Perfect [not preferred]
The ePortal supports electronic signatures as defined in AO 09-30:
A pleading or other document is not required to bear the electronic image of the handwritten signature or an encrypted signature of the filer, but may be signed in the following manner when electronically filed through a registered user’s login and password.
s/ JOHN DOE
Florida Bar Number 12345
Attorney for (Plaintiff/Defendant)
ABC Law Firm
123 South Street Orlando, FL 32800
Telephone: (407) 123-4567
Documents that must be maintained in original form may be electronically filed through the Portal but must also be deposited with the Clerk and maintained for safekeeping as defined in SC11-399. Examples include wills, codicils, deeds, verified and sworn documents, original paper judgments and sentences, etc. Direct your questions regarding original documents to your local Clerk’s Office.
You may scan the document and then file it electronically. An alternative would be to scan only the signature page, which has the client’s wet ink signature as well as the notary’s, and then append that scanned page to the PDF document that was computer generated.
As defined in RJA 2.520:
· 8 ½ x 11 inches
· Portrait orientation
· 300 DPI [for a scanned document]
· Black and white not color [for a scanned document]
· 3 x 3 inch space at the top right-hand corner on the first page
· 1 x 3 inch space at the top right-hand corner on each subsequent page
· 1 inch margin
· Do not password protect your documents
The Portal will affix in the upper left hand corner of the document the official file stamp date and time of when that submission reached the Portal. That is the official file stamp date and time of when the documents are filed.
The Supreme Court requires that documents submitted electronically to the Florida State Courts System must be ADA compliant. Click here to access that page.
The aggregate size cannot exceed 25 megabytes for one submission.
Separate the large document into multiple documents each under 25MB. Submit one Part 1 of 3 with the first filing, Part 2 of 3 with the second filing, and Part 3 of 3 with the third filing which results in the complete document being filed.
Review the documents that are being filed to see if they contain confidential or sensitive information. If they contain confidential or sensitive information, attach a ‘Notice of Confidential Information within the Court Filing’ as a separate document per Rule 2.420, RJA. The form is available on the Documents page of the Portal.
No, there is an option available that will cover cases confidential by statute, Administrative Order or Court Order.
You will receive a Processing Completed for Filing #Filing ID email.
The filing status is ‘Filed’ on My Filings page.
You would scan the original return of service and then file it electronically through the Portal. The original deposition transcript is also electronically filed. Request the file from the Court Reporter in PDF format in small file size increments if it’s a large transcript. Then upload the individual files until the complete transcript is uploaded. You can also request the transcript in the abbreviated [four pages to one] version and again in the small file size increments.
If the name of your document does not appear in the Document Type drop down, select the document name that is most appropriate. Counties have the ability to change the name of the document when reviewed. You may want to contact the County to see if they can add Document Types to their dropdown.
If the case is a confidential case type, the style of the case will display Not Available.
Yes. When an attorney files electronically to a case they are automatically added to the E-service Recipient List with the emails they designate as E-service email addresses for this case. If the attorney has not yet filed electronically to the case, to provide proper service through the Portal you, the filer, will have to add them to the Other Attorney/Interested Party section of the E-service Page so that they may be served. Once they file electronically to the case and are automatically added, you should then remove them from the Other Attorney/Interested Party section of the E-service page.
Yes. E-service through the Portal is not mandatory. You may still provide service by personal e-mail as long as you comply with Rule 2.516.
Yes. You should attach to every document a “traditional” service list containing all parties’ names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses so that the list of required parties to be served can be easily ascertained. The certificate of service should also state that service was performed through the Portal
Yes. You may remove yourself from any case to which you have filed. Click here for instructions.
Access your E-service list of the case on the My Cases page, verify the email addresses you have specified to receive E-service is where you actually want to receive the emails.
You are either using your Profile email addresses or you have designated up to three other email addresses to be used for E-service for this case. You may change this at any time. For more information, click here.
Yes. As long as you have not removed yourself from the E-service list for a case, you will continue to receive E-service on documents filed.
The document you received last would be the correct document. Documents are served when filings are submitted. Some filings have to be corrected and are sent to the Pending Queue. When the filer corrects and resubmits the filing, the documents are served again.
Contact the filers in this case and ask them to update your email address with the correct one.
Anyone added to the E-service List will receive an email notifying them that they have been added to the case and give them the contact information for the person that added them. They will also have a link in the email they receive to “Request Removal” from the E-service List for that case. If they continue to receive the NEF’s they should contact the filer that added them to the List and ask to be removed.
The list of known E-service email addresses for the State Attorney’s Offices is found on the Portal in the News & Information section. You can also contact the local State Attorney’s Office to ascertain the email address at which they wish to receive E-service.
No. Remote electronic access to the official court file is allowed only to counsel of record on a case.
The Portal provides a link to the counties CMS in the following locations:
· My Cases page
· My Filings page
On the My Cases page, select the Case #.
From the My Filings page, select the Case Style/Docket link.
These links display the case maintenance system’s case information page with a link to the docket sheet. Some counties provide images to the docket sheet which is evident by a hyperlink to the document when selecting the name of the document.
The Appellate Court Technology Committee has approved and the Florida Court Technology Commission has been informed of the attached Document Binary File Name Standards for e-filing and e-recording. Linked here, please be aware that certain naming conventions do not transmit through the portal without error.
On the Trial Court filing path you must complete the filing. There is no way to save a filing. However, on the Appellate Court filing path you can pick up the filing from the Work Bench.
· Unsigned document
· Incorrect case number
· Filed to the wrong county
· Document is corrupt
These would be the most common reasons why a filing would be sent to the Pending Queue however the Clerk will annotate the deficiency in the Completion Date/Remarks column of the My Filings page.
The Clerk will name the document that has the deficiency and annotate that deficiency in the Completion Date/Remarks column of the My Filings page.
Counties that allow a summons to be filed and paid for with a filing will have the option available in the drop down menus and the screens will ask you how many defendants will need to be served. The payment screen will show that amount calculated along with the filing fee. A county that does not allow for sending the summons electronically will need it delivered in paper with a check.
Some counties have assigned a docket code so that you can submit the proposed order through the Portal and that document type will be listed in the drop down. Other counties require them to be sent directly to the judge. Some counties have put this information in the News & Information section of the Portal. Once you begin the process of submitting a filing, and have selected a county, take a look at the News & Information section of the page to see if the county has information listed to answer your question.
If the document is not listed in the drop down, and there is no information in the News & Information section, then check the County’s web site for information.
The Clerk’s Office has the ability to add parties to the drop-down menus. You will need to call the Clerk’s Office in the county in which you are fling so they can add that option in the party drop-down. Until that party is available for you to select, the Clerk will add the party when they review the document before accepting for filing.
The best way to file exhibits is to create them as separate documents. Name them the same, but append the words: “Part 1 of 4,” “Part 2 of 4,” and the like, so the Clerk can tell the documents go together. Currently, several counties require the exhibits to be part of the main document; i.e., all in one document however the Florida Courts Technology Committee [FCTC] is working on standards for filing documents that would apply to all counties.
On case initiation, after you select the Case type and the Sub Type, if the county allows you to submit your summons electronically you will see an Additional Fee section to enter the number of summons to be issued.
When filing to an existing case, on the Case Information page, you may see an Additional Fees section if the county allows you to select additional fees to be included in your submission. The item that says “Number of Defendants” is where you would type in the number of defendants for which you wish to have summonses issued. The Portal will then calculate that summons fee and include it in the fees section.
Summonses are handled in the Additional Fees section on the Case Information screen instead of being attached to a document type. Some counties process summons manually.
It is a goal of the Supreme Court Chief Justice to standardize the E-Filing in Florida among all jurisdictions. Best Practices have been created and distributed. Ultimately, Clerks are elected officials who are working for their constituents and working within their unique set of business practices and systems.
Go to the Broward County web site for E-Filing instructions to obtain the Uniform Case Number.