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Electronic Filing In Florida Courts Is Here…Soon

James W. Martin

It looks like electronic filing of pleadings in state courts will become a reality for Florida lawyers in 2009. The Florida Legislature has mandated the Florida clerks of court to “implement an electronic filing process” in order to “reduce judicial costs in the office of the clerk and the judiciary, increase timeliness in the processing of cases, and provide the judiciary with case-related information to allow for improved judicial case management.” Ch. 2009-61, Laws of Florida. The deadline to begin implementation is October 1, 2009.

Lawyers in Sarasota County got a jumpstart on efiling (also known as e-filing) because Clerk of Court Karen Rushing was an early advocate for efiling. See “Deadlines set for statewide e-filing, integrated court computer system”, Fla. Bar News 6/1/09. Lawyers in bankruptcy and federal practice have also had this capability (responsibility?). Soon, all Florida lawyers will have the luxury of being able to electronically draft, sign and file their pleadings in Florida courts.

The next step is for the Florida Supreme Court to “set statewide standards for electronic filing to be used by the clerks of court to implement electronic filing.” The Legislature requested this by July 1, 2009.

The Florida Legislature has mandated efiling by October 1, 2009.

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