Retain documents at your office unless the rule of procedure governing your proceeding requires a paper original to be filed.
PAPER filings--The clerk's office will accept these documents in paper form:
- Last Will and Testament (Death certificates do NOT need to be paper-filed).
- Mortgage or Note; and
- Any other documents required by law, rule, or the court to be filed in paper format.
If you file a document in paper form that is not required to be maintained by the clerk's office in paper form, it will be stored temporarily and then will be discarded. If you wish to have such documents returned, you may provide a stamped, addressed envelope and the document will be returned to you.
Payments on Portal
Payment through the Florida ePortal for statutory filing fees or costs includes a fee for credit card or bank transactions. Your payment will not be finalized on the Portal until your final submission.
Resubmissions from Correction Queue will require that you re-enter your payment so that the payment is “re-authorized,” since resubmissions can be sent up to 10 days after the case is in the correction queue and any previous authorization may have expired. The payment will not be finalized until your submission is accepted.
Reopen fees are not automatically assessed but can be added in the Additional Fees section on the Case Information screen. If the clerk determines a reopen fee is due, the filer will be notified.
Number of Defendants to Enter on Portal — the rules for counting parties are:
- COUNT all named parties.
- COUNT Unknown spouse and “unknown parties claiming through named individual defendants who are not known to be dead or alive” regardless of the relationship of the unknown party to the known party.
- DO NOT count: Unknown Tenants or John Doe’s until parties are named in the suit.
Lis Pendens Indexing — COUNT all names shown for the plaintiff and defendant, including aliases, former names, assignor names, now known as names, merger names, etc. If the name is listed it must be indexed. DO NOT count unknown parties as they cannot be indexed. A fee of $1.00 per name for the number of names over 4 is assessed. For example, when a party is named as xyz trustee as trustee of the John Doe Revocable Trust, both names, (1) xyz as trustee and (2) John Doe Revocable Trust, would be indexed.
If a fee waiver is requested and it is not approved, the Clerk’s Office will contact you to arrange for payment of the outstanding fees.
State Agencies exempt from fee payment can utilize the ‘fee waiver’ process at the payment screen. Enter “ Exempt Under FS28.345 ” from the dropdown menu in fee waiver reason box.
Fee payments are processed ONLY when the filing is accepted. Filings in the correction queue will require re-entry of payment information to re-authorize the hold on the payment.
Filing in Existing Case
To e-file in an existing case, select Existing on the e-Filing Map. Select the Court Type (i.e. Probate). Then enter the case number using the fields provided. Then click the SEARCH button. This Case Information Screen contains additional fee options. When your case comes up, click the NEXT button. At the party screen select your party and click the NEXT button on that screen. On the document screen, click ADD a document. Then select a case group and document type. Browse your computer for the correct document and click open when you find your document. You may continue to add documents by clicking on the ADD button. Follow the remaining prompts to finish e-filing your document.
Case number entry on existing case filings: The case number on an Alachua County case will look something like 01-2011-CA-4321. The 01 is the code for Alachua County and is not used on the Portal, because it includes that in your case number automatically, since you have already selected Alachua County for your efiling. The Portal defaults to the current year, change the year to the correct 4-digit year. You will already have selected the Division and for most divisions, that determines the Court Type. If the division you are filing has more than one case type, such as Probate, you will need to select the court type by clicking the one of the options in the COURT TYPE box. This will place the correct Court Type code in the box. The remaining numbers go in the SEQUENCE # box, which in the above example would be 4321. This is the sequential number of your case.
||Clerk Case No.
||Portal Sequence Number
||Portal 2-Digit Court Type
|Domestic Relations/ Family & Adoptions*
|County Civil/ Small Claims
|Probate/ Guardianship/ Mental Health
*Domestic Violence cases are treated as confidential so the case number search will “not find” DV case numbers to protect the confidentiality of the cases.
**Dependency cases are confidential and the Portal will “not find” DP case numbers to protect the confidentiality of the cases. If you get an error message because the case number is not found, confirm your case number and click OK on the error message.
Case number error messages can occur if the case is deemed “confidential” by the system. If you know your case number is correct and the case type is a mental health, dependency, or other confidential case type, you can still add documents to the case and submit the documents for filing. Please check BOTH the year and sequence number when entering. Filings with incorrect case numbers that cannot be located will be put in the Pending Queue for correction.
Parties in existing cases cannot be added directly to the Clerk’s case maintenance system from the ePortal. When an eFiled document contains added parties, the Clerk’s office will add the party, if appropriate. When reviewing for parties, be sure to scroll down through all of the parties to be sure the party you are looking for is not there.
Document descriptions might not exactly match the title of your document. If you can’t find your document on the list of available document types, please select the document type closest to the descriptions available. Each document group should have an OTHER group category and an OTHER document type. You can select this for any document not listed. You can view a list of criminal document titles here. The document will be added to the clerk’s case maintenance system as it is titled. If you believe that what you have is a frequently filed document type that needs to be added to this group type, please notify our office.
Cover letters are not needed. The first page of the filing should be the first page of the lead document (i.e. the Petition/Pleading/Paper) that you are filing. The electronic date stamp is placed on the first page of the pleading efiled, so if a cover letter is submitted as the first page then the date stamp will not be on the actual pleading document. If you do need to file a cover letter, please file this as a separate document.
Filing a New Case
Civil/Family cover sheets are created when you e-file a new case. No additional cover sheet is needed.
E-service on Portal
E-service on the ePortal. If the person you are serving is an attorney does not appear on the e-service page of your filing, add the attorney and email addresses and they will be saved for future filings. When an attorney files in a case, the e-portal associates that attorney and the attorneys email addresses to that case, and that attorney will then appear on the e-service options for that case for future e-filing sessions. If the person you are serving is not an attorney, see whether they have e-filed in the case or they have an e-filing account on the portal. If they have one, then they can be e-served. If they do not, e-service may not be a valid service option for this person.
To view the e-service on a filing, put the efiling number in at this link:
Status and Confirmation Email from Portal
Status email updates: Each time the status of your eFiling changes the ePortal sends an email. This status can also be viewed on the “My Filings” screen on the ePortal. One of the following status types will assigned to your filing as it progresses through the system:
- Received – The case was successfully received by the ePortal system
- Validating Filing – The case is being validated for acceptance into the Clerk of the Court's system
- Pending Filing – The case is awaiting a clerk to review the case and docket it into the system.
- Filed – The case has been approved and filed. It is now viewable via the Clerk's web Viewer, LINDAS.
- Correction Queue – The clerk has reviewed the case and identified a problem with the submission. There will be a comment added to the case that will explain what needs to be fixed in order for the submission to be accepted.
- Abandoned Filing – The case was held in the Pending Queue for 5 days with no correction. The eFiling will now need to be submittedas a new filing.
Resolving Filings in Correction Queue
The Correction Queue is for filings that cannot be processed. If your filing was sent to the Correction Queue you have an opportunity to correct the filing by accessing it on your “My Submissions” on the ePortal and clicking on the ePortal reference number (not the case number). Efilings are sent to the Correction Queue when documents are corrupted or efiled in the wrong county; multiple documents are filed as a single document, or there is some other reason our office is unable to process the filing. Regardless of the reason, you will need to correct the filing within 5 business days of receiving notice that the case was moved to the Correction Queue. After that time, the filing will be irretrievably moved to the Abandoned Filings, which means that no further action can be taken with that filing.
To correct a filing in the Correction Queue you need to REMOVE the incorrect document and ADD the revised document by following these steps:
- From the “My Submissions” screen, click on the underlined Filing # associated with the filing that has been set to the CORRECTION QUEUE. The filing will re-open in the case information screen.
- Select the “Documents” tab to go directly to the document edit screen.
- The following actions can now be performed:
- ADD a new document to the filing
- If you add a new document to the filing the new document will receive a new time stamp.
- REPLACE a document in the filing
- If you replace a document, the substituted document will receive a new time stamp
- DELETE/ADD a document to the filing
- If you delete a document and add a new document, the new document will receive a new time stamp
Note that any edits made on an eFiling that is sent to the CORRECTION QUEUE status will NOT change the original SUBMISSION DATE of the entire filing but may change the time stamp on an individual document. When the document is docketed on the Clerk’s case maintenance system, the docketing date will be the date the Clerk’s Office accepted the document for processing. That date may not be the same as the ePortal filing date. However, for purposes of computing filing deadlines, the ePortal time stamp rather than the docketing date will control. The ePortal time stamp will be visible on the document image.
Accepted Filings cannot be changed. A filing can only be changed if it was sent to the CORRECTION QUEUE. If your document has not yet been set to FILED status, you can contact the division you are filing in and request that they send the filing to the CORRECTION QUEUE. This will allow you to update or replace a pleading document or add/change parties on the filing before it is accepted.
Signatures, per Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.515, documents that are eFiled are not required to bear the electronic image of the handwritten signature or an encrypted signature of the filer. Instead, the requirement of a signature on an electronically filed document may be met as follows:
s/ or /s or /s/
John Doe (e-mail address)
Bar Number 12345
Attorney for (Plaintiff/Defendant) XYZ Company
ABC Law Firm
123 South Street
Orlando, FL 32800
Telephone: (407) 123-4567
email address email@example.com
See Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.515 Signature of Attorneys and Parties, Page 94
Document Size/Types Accepted
Document Formats: The ePortal will accept filings in Microsoft Word, Word Perfect, or PDF formats. All scanned documents must be 300 dpi and in black and white. A single filing transaction is limited to 25 megabytes in size. When uploading a document to the ePortal you can check the size by looking at the Size column in your directory. This is an example of where you can find that in Word:
Attachments to a motion, complaint or other filing should be uploaded with the motion as one document. Under court rules, all filings associated with one pleading or paper are one document. Each document, upon acceptance, will be time stamped and added to the case progress docket. If a single document is too large to file in on filing session (more than 25 MB, increasing to 50 MB in April 2016) and it exhibits, you can separate out exhibits, but you will need to add a cover page to each exhibit so that the clerk's office has a document title for docketing and can tell what case it goes to.
Multiple documents can be filed in the same case in the same transaction. So, a filer may upload several lead documents for the same case number during the efiling process, but the size of the entire transaction cannot exceed 25 MB. This will increase to 50 MB in April 2016
Multiple cases - The ePortal only allows for filing in one case at a time. If a filing applies to more than one case, unless it is officially consolidated by court order with another case, it must be separately filed in each case. If a case is consolidated with others by court order, then a document can be filed in the lead case. The pleading must indicate that it is a consolidated case and include the consolidated case number.
Redaction: Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516 requires redaction of certain personal identifying information in all documents, which also applies to eFiled documents.
Notices of Confidential Information must be filed as separate documents, separate from the document that the notice references. Such notices should only be needed if the information must be in the court file in spite of the duty to redact under Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.516.
Viewing E-Filed Documents
To view your eFiled document, click on the case number in “My Trial Court Filings” or view your images in the Alachua County Clerk’s Court Record system by going to the Public Records, Court Records & Recorder Link at www.alachuaclerk.org, then selecting Court Records and following the prompts. There may be a time lag of approximately 24 hours to view the document.
Documents to be Issued by Clerk
Summonses or other clerk-issued documents must be eFiled. You can retrieve your summons after it has been issued, which is a 48-hour process. If this is a document that needs to be served, you will need to print the issued document and deliver it to the entity serving the process. To retrieve your issued summons go to the Clerk’s Summons Delivery System by going to www.alachuaclerk.org, selecting Public Records, Court Records & Recording , then Court Records, then Begin your Court Records Search and click on the CLICK HERE TO SEARCH button. That takes you this page:
From here, click on Clerk Summons Delivery System.
Enter your case number where indicated. DO NOT include any trailing X’s. You will need to enter a valid email address and type the text in the “Captcha” box where indicated.
The delivery system provides access to other clerk-issued documents such as writs and defaults.
Proposed orders and judgments cannot be accepted on the ePortal, but must sent to the judge's office. Filers should confer with the judge’s office to determine how the judge prefers to handle proposed orders.
Confirmation of Filing
Case number information for your e-filing will be included on the e-mail confirming your e-filing has been accepted. This information is also included on the filings listed in your “My Trial Court Filings” on the ePortal.
Division assignments on a case can be found on the Clerk’s website at www.alachuaclerk.org by searching the case number on the Court Records option under Public Records, Court Records and Recordings. To find the judge assigned to that division, visit www.circuit8.org and select Judicial Assignments under the Judges tab.
For technical support, including password resets, contact the Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers Services Group at 1-850-577-4609 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For assistance with a filing, such as an inquiry regarding a filing or a case, please use the Clerk’s Office & Phone Directory at www.AlachuaClerk.org to contact the appropriate court division.