E-Filing

Electronic filing through the Florida Courts ePortal


 

Announcements

New E-Filing Rates

The Florida Courts E-Filing Authority has changed the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal rates to $5.00 per filing when paying with an e-check and 3.5% when paying with a credit card. The fee changes are due to an increase in operational costs of payments and transactions.


Criminal E-Filings Now Mandatory Due to New Administrative Order

Since January 1, 2016, E-Filing has been mandatory in the Pinellas County Criminal Division for all documents filed in a Criminal action.

Please be advised that the Pinellas County Clerk’s office will only accept documents filed through the ePortal, except those identified in the new Administrative Order No. 2016-018 . Effective May 1, 2016,documents received in the mail will not be filed or processed and will be returned to the attorney.

Electronic pleadings for the following cases will be accepted in the Criminal Division:

  • Circuit Criminal
  • County Criminal
  • Criminal Traffic
  • Civil Traffic
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Juvenile Dependency

Electronic Filing-Florida Courts E-Filing Portal Promo

How to Choose Case Type and Sub Case Type for Your Case

Supreme Court of Florida Order: AOSC14-1 ELECTRONIC FILING OF CRIMINAL, JUVENILE, AND TRAFFIC CASES VIA THE FLORIDA COURTS E-FILING PORTAL


TO REGISTER AND/OR SUBMIT AN E-FILING VISIT THE STATEWIDE E-FILING PORTAL.

To preview the statewide, Florida Courts E-Filing portal, please visit the E-Filing Training Videos page, which provides educational videos and instructions.

For technical assistance with the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal, please email support@myflcourtaccess.comor call 850-577-4609.

Civil Attorneys:

In April 2013, the Pinellas County Clerk’s office began accepting Civil Court Record E-Filings for County, Family (Domestic Relations), and Circuit Divisions.

 

Administrative Order 2016-018 PI-CIR, regarding E-Filings

Probate Attorneys:
In November 2011, the Pinellas Clerk’s office received approval from the Florida Courts Technology Commission to accept Probate e-filings from attorneys. Attorneys are authorized to E-File Guardianship and Estate pleadings through the statewide E-Filing portal.

There is no need to follow up your e-filing with the paper documents except for: wills, bonds, original death certificates and Pre-need Guardianships. These particular documents will still be needed in original format, however to expedite the processing of your case, you may scan and submit the images of these documents initially with your e-filing.

We are very excited about this big news as it provides the Clerk’s office with the opportunity to move forward towards the goal of a paperless office and provides the attorneys the ability to E-File without having to follow up with the originals.

Project History:
The Pinellas County Clerk’s office, along with Clerk’s statewide, has supported the Florida E-Filing Authority in the development of  the statewide E-Filing portal. As of January 1, 2011, the portal became operational allowing for the E-Filing of cases through a single point of entry.

E-File Portal Rules FAQ's

The ePortal will accept filings in Word or PDF formats. All documents will be converted to PDF formats by the ePortal. By default, the ePortal will provide the PDF format to the local record system.

Yes, the ePortal now supports Self-Represented (Pro Se) filers. Please visit our Pro Se page for more information.

The Florida Courts E-Filing Authority has set the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal rates to $5.00 per filing when paying with an e-check and 3.5% when paying with a credit card. The fee changes are due to an increase in operational costs of payments and transactions.

When an E-Filing is submitted, a notification is sent indicating the E-Filing number and the Date & Time of submission. This same information is stamped on the documents that are submitted to the Clerk. This is considered the official time of submission, regardless of when the Clerk actually processes the E-Filing.
If an E-Filing is returned to the filer for correction, if the filer replaces a document with a new one, it will retain the original filing date. However if a document is removed entirely and a new document is added, this document will have the current Date & Time.

The ePortal will provide the following electronic notifications:

  • Receipt of subscriber application
  • Acceptance/activation of subscriber account
  • Change of subscriber profile including login credentials
  • Receipt of filing including filing ID number
  • Acceptance of filing including filing ID number and case identification data
  • Pending of filing including filing ID number, case identification data and pending reason
  • Acceptance notice with attached copy of electronically issued/processed summonses, writs, defaults and other processes by which the Clerk is able to electronically sign documents

If a filing is put into the Correction Queue by the Clerk, the filer should make corrections and resubmit the filing within 5 business days. If the filing hasn’t been corrected by this time, it will be moved to the Abandoned Filing Queue and a notification will be sent to the filer and all parties eServed on the filing. At this point, the filing cannot be resubmitted. If the documents still need to be filed with the Clerk, a new filing will have to be submitted.

Please review the case number to verify it is correct. If it is not correct, click “Cancel” and enter a different number. If the case number is correct, click OK to continue. If there will be no fees for the filing, complete the filing as normal. If there will be fees, on the Parties tab click “Add Party” and enter the information for the Party for whom the fees are associated with.

E-File Pinellas County Procedures FAQ's

Only if an original is required by Pinellas County A.O. No. 2016-018. Submitting paper documents after they have been E-Filed will result in documents being processed and on the docket twice resulting in a delay for other processes you may require from the Clerk.
For Probate, there is no need to follow up your e-filing with the paper documents except for: wills, bonds, original death certificates and Pre-need Guardianships. These particular documents will still be needed in original format, however to expedite the processing of your case, you may scan and submit the images of these documents initially with your e-filing.

Only if authorized or mandated by Pinellas County A.O. No. 2016-018 or Florida Rules of Judicial Administration 2.525.. See question What documents will the Clerk's Office not accept through the e-Filing Portal for exceptions.

The Clerk will not process any documents not filed through the ePortal that should have been filed through the ePortal. A notice will be sent to the filer that their documents were not filed or processed and to E-File the documents.

Documents listed as not permitted in A.O. No. 2016-018 may not be e-filed. Proposed orders, judgments, letters or correspondence directed to a judge may not be electronically filed through the ePortal but must be submitted directly to the assigned judge's office along with sufficient copies for conforming and stamped, addressed envelopes for mailing. Pursuant to A.O. No. 2016-018. Underlying motions and paperwork for the Court should be E-Filed to the Portal. Requests for issuance of process for service by publication (Notice(s) of Action): Please submit the required copies and stamped addressed envelopes for mailing directly to Civil Court Records 315 Court St Room 170 Clearwater Fl 33756. Posting of surety/cash bonds. Posting of deposits into the courts registry. Any recordable document in which you want the original to be mailed back i.e. satisfactions of judgments, assignment of judgments, judgment liens etc. - stamped addressed envelopes are required to be submitted with the paperwork to be mailed back. Requests for a certificate of mailing in Delinquent Tenant/Eviction cases.

Under most circumstances No. Filings must be submitted on a 'per case basis'
If more than one case number is necessary on a document because the cases are tied closely together, you will need to attach and submit the document for as many case numbers as are on the document, circling the case number on each of the separate documents uploaded to which it is to be docketed.
If a case is consolidated into another case number place the main case number with the style of the case first, for all other case numbers listed place the remarks 'consolidated with (specify the main case number)' so the Clerk knows which case number listed is the main case number for the document to be docketed on.

Yes, multiple pleadings can be filed simultaneously, if they are attached as individual documents according to A.O. No. 2016-018

Yes, Pinellas County A.O. No. 2016-018 requires attachments to be labeled and filed as separate documents in the filing.

F.S. 28.241 (circuit civil filings) and F.S. 34.041 (county civil filings) require the payment of a reopen fee when filing certain documents.
If a re-open fee is owed, the fee is assessed by placing a '1' in the Reopen fee box under the Additional Fee Options on the case information page. Your filing will be pended back if the fee is due and not paid when submitting your filing at the ePortal.

All documents are mandatory to E-File unless otherwise specified in Pinellas County A.O. No. 2016-018. The Clerk will sign and issue the required documents and send them to you electronically at the email address provided on the documents in your filing. If no email address is provided on your documents, they will be emailed to the email address you registered with at the portal.
Defaults - A default form for the clerk to sign must be attached or be a part of the motion filed. The clerk will not generate a default for signature. Please note that your motion and default must be separated from one another, however can be filed in the same E-Filing submission (per A.O. No. 2016-018 ).
Writs of Garnishment/Writ of Replevin - Place a '1' in the appropriate writ box under the Additional Fee Options on the case information page to assess the appropriate fees. Submit your proposed writ form by selecting the Document Group 'Writs'.
Writs of Possession - Submit your proposed writ form by selecting the Document Group 'Writs'. The issued writ will be returned to you via e-mail. Please include an e-mail address on the document for the Clerk to use in order to return the issued writ. If no email address is provided on your documents, the Writ will be emailed to the email address you registered with at the portal. The filer will be responsible for providing the issued writ along with the appropriate funds to the Sheriff for service.
**Please note that the Clerk cannot issue a writ of possession prior to a Final Judgment having been entered-it is suggested that you wait until the judgment is entered and reflects on the docket in your case before EFiling your writ of possession to the Clerk. Submission of this document prior to a judgment being entered will delay your writ from being issued.

Surety and Cash bonds cannot be filed through the e-Filing portal. Original surety or cash bonds must be filed in paper form directly to the Clerk's Office.

Requests for issuance of service of process by publication will not be accepted through the e-Filing Portal. The Notice of Action must be submitted to the Clerk in paper form. The completed Notice of Action must include the response due date as defined by F.S. 49.09. If mailing is required under F.S. 49.12, the following must also be provided the clerk:

  1. A pre-addressed, pre-paid envelope for the residence of any party to be served by publication.
  2. Sufficient copies for the mailing.
  3. A self addressed, pre-stamped envelope for return of the issued Notice of Action to the filer.

In order to process a notice of action, the affidavit of constructive service or affidavit of diligent search and inquiry must be E-filed through the Florida Courts E-filing Portal. Once the affidavit has been e-filed, please mail in the Notice of Action along with mail packet, if a mailing is required under F.S. 49.12. The Clerk will fill in the appropriate publication date or time to respond on the notice of action and include the Clerk signature and seal once notice of action is issued. You may retain the original affidavits as they do not need to be sent to the Clerk once they have been E-filed. Also, please include the following with notice of action to the Clerk's Clearwater office, 315 Court Street, Room 170, Clearwater, FL 33756:

  • A pre-addressed (to last known address), postage paid envelope for any party to be served by publication.
  • Sufficient copies for the mailing.

We then electronically distribute a copy of the Issued Notice of Action to the publisher of your choice and the attorneys email we have on file. The publisher will then contact you for payment. COMMON NEWSPAPERS FOR LEGAL ADS

  • Business Observer- 727-447-7784
  • La Gaceta- 813-248-3921
  • Tampa Bay Times-727-893-8358

Proposed orders, judgments, letters or correspondence directed to a judge may not be electronically filed through the ePortal but must be submitted directly to the assigned judge's office along with sufficient copies for conforming and stamped, addressed envelopes for mailing. Pursuant to A.O. No. 2016-018. Underlying motions and paperwork for the Court should be E-Filed to the Portal.

Yes, the ePortal authority has received permission allowing filers to use electronic signatures. Below are the acceptable signature types.
Signatures of Registered Users A submission by a registered user is 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 (as required by A.O. No. 2016-018):

s/ John Doe
John Doe (e-mail address)
Bar Number 12345
Attorney for (Plaintiff/Defendant) XYZ Company
ABC Law Firm
123 Main Street
Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 123-4567

Multiple Attorneys of Record Signatures
When a filing requires the signatures of two or more attorneys of record:
  • The filing attorney shall initially confirm that the content of the document is acceptable to all attorneys required to sign the document and shall obtain the signatures of all attorneys on the document. For this purpose, physical, facsimile or electronic signatures are permitted.
  • The filing attorney then shall file the document electronically, indicating the signatories, (e.g., "s/ Jane Doe," "s/ John Smith," etc.) for each attorney's signature.

Original Documents or Handwritten Signatures Original documents, such as death certificates, or those that contain original signatures such as deeds, mortgages and wills must be filed manually until further standards have been adopted.

All summonses must be E-Filed except if filing a Delinquent Tenant/Eviction case. (**See information below specific to Delinquent Tenant/Eviction summonses). The Clerk's Office is still accepting summonses to be issued over the counter. However, it is strongly encouraged they be E-Filed. If you have previously E-Filed the summons to be issued at the portal, please do not bring in originals to be issued over the counter as the Clerk's Office will not sign your summonses. This is to prevent multiple copies of the same summonses from being issued.
The filer must prepare summonses he/she wishes to be issued by the Clerk and attach them as a document to the filing, except in Small Claims cases (* see below). The statutory $10.00 fee per summons for issuance is assessed by placing the appropriate number in the Summons to be Issued box under the Additional Fee Options on the case information page of the ePortal. Summonses submitted without the appropriate fees will be pended back to the filer. The electronically issued summons will be emailed back to the filer. The filer is then responsible for effectuating service on the party.
* When filing a Small Claims case DO NOT attach a summons. The Clerk prepares the Summons/Notice to Appear for Small Claims cases. Be sure to enter the number of summonses under the Additional Fee Options in order to calculate the $10.00 issuance fee, otherwise the Summons(es)/Notice to Appear will not be prepared.
**If you are filing a Delinquent Tenant/Eviction case, you may E-File your summons(es) or you may submit them directly to the Clerk's Office. Copies and envelopes with sufficient postage for each mailing need to be provided to the Clerk in order for a certificate of mailing to be issued. This cannot be done through the EPortal.

All fees are calculated by placing the associated number in the boxes for the category of your filing under the Additional fee Options on the case information page of the ePortal. For example - Writs of Garnishment fees, recording fees, summonses to be issued, charges for extra defendants over 5, reopen fees, counterclaim fees etc.
If recording a Lis Pendens or a Discharge of a Lis Pendens, please complete the boxes for Lis Pendens (# of parties) and Lis Pendens (# of pages) as the fees to record a Lis Pendens are different from other recordable documents.
For all other documents needing to be recorded complete both the lines for # of pages but also include names considered for indexing to calculate the statutory fees. Please see next question on how to count parties for indexing.

To calculate parties that need to be indexed for recording a document:
Count all plaintiff(s) and defendant(s), alternate names (AKA's, DBA's Assignees of etc) are counted as separate parties. Do not count unknown parties (unknown tenants, unknown spouse, any and all unknown parties etc.).
a. To calculate additional defendants over 5:
Count only defendants, all unknown parties are counted separately (unknown tenants, unknown spouse, any and all unknown parties, etc). Do not count alternate names (AKA's, DBA's, etc.)

  1. Case type selection should match Civil Cover Sheet.
  2. Do not add attorney, or they will be added as a party to the Civil Cover Sheet. The attorney is added automatically from the filing ID entered at the portal for the filing.
  3. All main parties should be added to a new case, entering them in the order they are styled in the complaint, starting with the plaintiff(s). Do not add alternate names (AKA's, DBA's. Assignees etc.) they will be added by the Clerk.
  4. Add Unknown parties as an Organization.
  5. Filings will be pended if the money amount due/owing is incorrect. Fill in the # of Defendants under the Additional Fee Options. The system will automatically calculate, based on the number entered, if additional fees are due.
  6. Separate attachments/exhibits from the complaint or other document and file as separate documents pursuant to A.O. No. 2016-018.

Questions about E-Filing - Contact Us

Announcements

New E-Filing Rates

The Florida Courts E-Filing Authority has changed the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal rates to $5.00 per filing when paying with an e-check and 3.5% when paying with a credit card. The fee changes are due to an increase in operational costs of payments and transactions.


Criminal E-Filings Now Mandatory Due to New Administrative Order

Since January 1, 2016, E-Filing has been mandatory in the Pinellas County Criminal Division for all documents filed in a Criminal action.

Please be advised that the Pinellas County Clerk’s office will only accept documents filed through the ePortal, except those identified in the new Administrative Order No. 2016-018 . Effective May 1, 2016,documents received in the mail will not be filed or processed and will be returned to the attorney.

Electronic pleadings for the following cases will be accepted in the Criminal Division:

  • Circuit Criminal
  • County Criminal
  • Criminal Traffic
  • Civil Traffic
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Juvenile Dependency

Electronic Filing-Florida Courts E-Filing Portal Promo

How to Choose Case Type and Sub Case Type for Your Case

Supreme Court of Florida Order: AOSC14-1 ELECTRONIC FILING OF CRIMINAL, JUVENILE, AND TRAFFIC CASES VIA THE FLORIDA COURTS E-FILING PORTAL


TO REGISTER AND/OR SUBMIT AN E-FILING VISIT THE STATEWIDE E-FILING PORTAL.

To preview the statewide, Florida Courts E-Filing portal, please visit the E-Filing Training Videos page, which provides educational videos and instructions.

For technical assistance with the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal, please email support@myflcourtaccess.comor call 850-577-4609.

Civil Attorneys:

In April 2013, the Pinellas County Clerk’s office began accepting Civil Court Record E-Filings for County, Family (Domestic Relations), and Circuit Divisions.

 

Administrative Order 2016-018 PI-CIR, regarding E-Filings

Probate Attorneys:
In November 2011, the Pinellas Clerk’s office received approval from the Florida Courts Technology Commission to accept Probate e-filings from attorneys. Attorneys are authorized to E-File Guardianship and Estate pleadings through the statewide E-Filing portal.

There is no need to follow up your e-filing with the paper documents except for: wills, bonds, original death certificates and Pre-need Guardianships. These particular documents will still be needed in original format, however to expedite the processing of your case, you may scan and submit the images of these documents initially with your e-filing.

We are very excited about this big news as it provides the Clerk’s office with the opportunity to move forward towards the goal of a paperless office and provides the attorneys the ability to E-File without having to follow up with the originals.

Project History:
The Pinellas County Clerk’s office, along with Clerk’s statewide, has supported the Florida E-Filing Authority in the development of  the statewide E-Filing portal. As of January 1, 2011, the portal became operational allowing for the E-Filing of cases through a single point of entry.

E-File Portal Rules FAQ's

The ePortal will accept filings in Word or PDF formats. All documents will be converted to PDF formats by the ePortal. By default, the ePortal will provide the PDF format to the local record system.

Yes, the ePortal now supports Self-Represented (Pro Se) filers. Please visit our Pro Se page for more information.

The Florida Courts E-Filing Authority has set the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal rates to $5.00 per filing when paying with an e-check and 3.5% when paying with a credit card. The fee changes are due to an increase in operational costs of payments and transactions.

When an E-Filing is submitted, a notification is sent indicating the E-Filing number and the Date & Time of submission. This same information is stamped on the documents that are submitted to the Clerk. This is considered the official time of submission, regardless of when the Clerk actually processes the E-Filing.
If an E-Filing is returned to the filer for correction, if the filer replaces a document with a new one, it will retain the original filing date. However if a document is removed entirely and a new document is added, this document will have the current Date & Time.

The ePortal will provide the following electronic notifications:

  • Receipt of subscriber application
  • Acceptance/activation of subscriber account
  • Change of subscriber profile including login credentials
  • Receipt of filing including filing ID number
  • Acceptance of filing including filing ID number and case identification data
  • Pending of filing including filing ID number, case identification data and pending reason
  • Acceptance notice with attached copy of electronically issued/processed summonses, writs, defaults and other processes by which the Clerk is able to electronically sign documents

If a filing is put into the Correction Queue by the Clerk, the filer should make corrections and resubmit the filing within 5 business days. If the filing hasn’t been corrected by this time, it will be moved to the Abandoned Filing Queue and a notification will be sent to the filer and all parties eServed on the filing. At this point, the filing cannot be resubmitted. If the documents still need to be filed with the Clerk, a new filing will have to be submitted.

If you receive the above error message, please complete the following steps as a temporary work-around to E-File your pleadings for existing cases:

  • Click OK to continue.
  • When returned to the Case Information screen, the Case Type, Case Title and Case Status will say “NOT AVAILABLE.” Please review the case number to be sure it is correct. If the correct number was entered, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the NEXT button to continue.
  • Once at the Parties screen, the Current Parties will appear blank because the case specific information was not returned. Although there are no current parties listed, you do not need to select or add a party if your filing does NOT require fees. If your filing requires fees, click the ADD PARTY LINK and complete the relevant party information. Click NEXT to proceed.
  • At the Documents screen, click ADD DOCUMENT link to submit your document(s) for e-Filing.
  • Complete the Service List and Fees and Payments tabs. Review and then Submit your E-Filing.

E-File Pinellas County Procedures FAQ's

Only if an original is required by Pinellas County A.O. No. 2016-018. Submitting paper documents after they have been E-Filed will result in documents being processed and on the docket twice resulting in a delay for other processes you may require from the Clerk.

No, the Pinellas County Clerk's Office will no longer accept documents mandated to be E-Filed by any means other than through the ePortal, unless authorized or mandated by Pinellas County A.O. No. 2016-018 or Florida Rules of Judicial Administration 2.525. See question What documents will the Clerk's Office not accept through the e-Filing Portal for exceptions.

The Clerk will not process any documents not filed through the ePortal that should have been filed through the ePortal. A notice will be sent to the filer that their documents were not filed or processed and to E-File the documents.

Proposed orders, judgments, letters or correspondence directed to a judge may not be electronically filed through the ePortal but must be submitted directly to the assigned judge's office along with sufficient copies for conforming and stamped, addressed envelopes for mailing.pursuant to A.O. No. 2016-018

  1. Do E-File the underlying motion and other paperwork needing to be filed.
  2. Do not provide the above orders to the judge's office until you receive notice from the ePortal that the motions or paperwork related to the order(s) are completed and filed and on the docket or the paperwork will be returned to you and cause a delay in the processing of your case.

Requests for issuance of process for service by publication (Notice(s) of Action): Please submit the required copies and stamped addressed envelopes for mailing directly to Civil Court Records 315 Court St Room 170 Clearwater Fl 33756.
Posting of surety/cash bonds
Posting of deposits into the courts registry
Any recordable document in which you want the original to be mailed back i.e. satisfactions of judgments, assignment of judgments, judgment liens etc. - stamped addressed envelopes are required to be submitted with the paperwork to be mailed back.
Requests for a certificate of mailing in Delinquent Tenant/Eviction cases.

Under most circumstances No. Filings must be submitted on a 'per case basis'
If more than one case number is necessary on a document because the cases are tied closely together, you will need to attach and submit the document for as many case numbers as are on the document, circling the case number on each of the separate documents uploaded to which it is to be docketed.
If a case is consolidated into another case number place the main case number with the style of the case first, for all other case numbers listed place the remarks 'consolidated with (specify the main case number)' so the Clerk knows which case number listed is the main case number for the document to be docketed on.

Yes, multiple pleadings can be filed simultaneously, if they are attached as individual documents according to A.O. No. 2016-018

Yes, Pinellas County A.O. No. 2016-018 requires attachments to be labeled and filed as separate documents in the filing.

F.S. 28.241 (circuit civil filings) and F.S. 34.041 (county civil filings) require the payment of a reopen fee when filing certain documents.
If a re-open fee is owed, the fee is assessed by placing a '1' in the Reopen fee box under the Additional Fee Options on the case information page. Your filing will be pended back if the fee is due and not paid when submitting your filing at the ePortal.

All documents are mandatory to E-File unless otherwise specified in Pinellas County A.O. No. 2016-018. The Clerk will sign and issue the required documents and send them to you electronically at the email address provided on the documents in your filing. If no email address is provided on your documents, they will be emailed to the email address you registered with at the portal.
Defaults - A default form for the clerk to sign must be attached or be a part of the motion filed. The clerk will not generate a default for signature. Please note that your motion and default must be separated from one another, however can be filed in the same E-Filing submission (per A.O. No. 2016-018 ).
Writs of Garnishment/Writ of Replevin - Place a '1' in the appropriate writ box under the Additional Fee Options on the case information page to assess the appropriate fees. Submit your proposed writ form by selecting the Document Group 'Writs'.
Writs of Possession - Submit your proposed writ form by selecting the Document Group 'Writs'. The issued writ will be returned to you via e-mail. Please include an e-mail address on the document for the Clerk to use in order to return the issued writ. If no email address is provided on your documents, the Writ will be emailed to the email address you registered with at the portal. The filer will be responsible for providing the issued writ along with the appropriate funds to the Sheriff for service.
**Please note that the Clerk cannot issue a writ of possession prior to a Final Judgment having been entered-it is suggested that you wait until the judgment is entered and reflects on the docket in your case before EFiling your writ of possession to the Clerk. Submission of this document prior to a judgment being entered will delay your writ from being issued.

Surety and Cash bonds cannot be filed through the e-Filing portal. Original surety or cash bonds must be filed in paper form directly to the Clerk's Office.

Requests for issuance of service of process by publication will not be accepted through the e-Filing Portal. The Notice of Action must be submitted to the Clerk in paper form. The completed Notice of Action must include the response due date as defined by F.S. 49.09. If mailing is required under F.S. 49.12, the following must also be provided the clerk:

  1. A pre-addressed, pre-paid envelope for the residence of any party to be served by publication.
  2. Sufficient copies for the mailing.
  3. A self addressed, pre-stamped envelope for return of the issued Notice of Action to the filer.

In order to process a notice of action, the affidavit of constructive service or affidavit of diligent search and inquiry must be E-filed through the Florida Courts E-filing Portal. Once the affidavit has been e-filed, please mail in the Notice of Action along with mail packet, if a mailing is required under F.S. 49.12. The Clerk will fill in the appropriate publication date or time to respond on the notice of action and include the Clerk signature and seal once notice of action is issued. You may retain the original affidavits as they do not need to be sent to the Clerk once they have been E-filed. Also, please include the following with notice of action to the Clerk's Clearwater office, 315 Court Street, Room 170, Clearwater, FL 33756:

  • A pre-addressed (to last known address), postage paid envelope for any party to be served by publication.
  • Sufficient copies for the mailing.

We then electronically distribute a copy of the Issued Notice of Action to the publisher of your choice and the attorneys email we have on file. The publisher will then contact you for payment. COMMON NEWSPAPERS FOR LEGAL ADS

  • Business Observer- 727-447-7784
  • La Gaceta- 813-248-3921
  • Tampa Bay Times-727-893-8358

All proposed orders, judgments, letters or correspondence directed to a judge - with the exception of Probate cases - must be submitted directly to the assigned judge's office along with sufficient copies for conforming and stamped, addressed envelopes for mailing pursuant to Administrative Order (AO) No. 2016-018. AO 2016-018 requires Probate proposed orders or letters to be e-filed.

  1. Do E-File the underlying motion and other paperwork needing to be filed.
  2. Do not provide the above orders to the judge's office until you receive notice from the ePortal that the motions or paperwork related to the order(s) are completed and filed and on the docket or the paperwork will be returned to you and cause a delay in the processing of your case.

Yes, the ePortal authority has received permission allowing filers to use electronic signatures. Below are the acceptable signature types.
Signatures of Registered Users A submission by a registered user is 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 (as required by A.O. No. 2016-018):

s/ John Doe
John Doe (e-mail address)
Bar Number 12345
Attorney for (Plaintiff/Defendant) XYZ Company
ABC Law Firm
123 Main Street
Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 123-4567
Multiple Attorneys of Record Signatures
When a filing requires the signatures of two or more attorneys of record:
  • The filing attorney shall initially confirm that the content of the document is acceptable to all attorneys required to sign the document and shall obtain the signatures of all attorneys on the document. For this purpose, physical, facsimile or electronic signatures are permitted.
  • The filing attorney then shall file the document electronically, indicating the signatories, (e.g., "s/ Jane Doe," "s/ John Smith," etc.) for each attorney's signature.

Original Documents or Handwritten Signatures Original documents, such as death certificates, or those that contain original signatures such as deeds, mortgages and wills must be filed manually until further standards have been adopted.

All summonses must be E-Filed except if filing a Delinquent Tenant/Eviction case. (**See information below specific to Delinquent Tenant/Eviction summonses). The Clerk's Office is still accepting summonses to be issued over the counter. However, it is strongly encouraged they be E-Filed. If you have previously E-Filed the summons to be issued at the portal, please do not bring in originals to be issued over the counter as the Clerk's Office will not sign your summonses. This is to prevent multiple copies of the same summonses from being issued.
The filer must prepare summonses he/she wishes to be issued by the Clerk and attach them as a document to the filing, except in Small Claims cases (* see below). The statutory $10.00 fee per summons for issuance is assessed by placing the appropriate number in the Summons to be Issued box under the Additional Fee Options on the case information page of the ePortal. Summonses submitted without the appropriate fees will be pended back to the filer. The electronically issued summons will be emailed back to the filer. The filer is then responsible for effectuating service on the party.
* When filing a Small Claims case DO NOT attach a summons. The Clerk prepares the Summons/Notice to Appear for Small Claims cases. Be sure to enter the number of summonses under the Additional Fee Options in order to calculate the $10.00 issuance fee, otherwise the Summons(es)/Notice to Appear will not be prepared.
**If you are filing a Delinquent Tenant/Eviction case, you may E-File your summons(es) or you may submit them directly to the Clerk's Office. Copies and envelopes with sufficient postage for each mailing need to be provided to the Clerk in order for a certificate of mailing to be issued. This cannot be done through the EPortal.

All fees are calculated by placing the associated number in the boxes for the category of your filing under the Additional fee Options on the case information page of the ePortal. For example - Writs of Garnishment fees, recording fees, summonses to be issued, charges for extra defendants over 5, reopen fees, counterclaim fees etc.
If recording a Lis Pendens or a Discharge of a Lis Pendens, please complete the boxes for Lis Pendens (# of parties) and Lis Pendens (# of pages) as the fees to record a Lis Pendens are different from other recordable documents.
For all other documents needing to be recorded complete both the lines for # of pages but also include names considered for indexing to calculate the statutory fees. Please see next question on how to count parties for indexing.

  1. Case type selection should match Civil Cover Sheet.
  2. Do not add attorney, or they will be added as a party to the Civil Cover Sheet. The attorney is added automatically from the filing ID entered at the portal for the filing.
  3. All main parties should be added to a new case, entering them in the order they are styled in the complaint, starting with the plaintiff(s). Do not add alternate names (AKA's, DBA's. Assignees etc.) they will be added by the Clerk.
  4. Add Unknown parties as an Organization.
  5. Filings will be pended if the money amount due/owing is incorrect. Fill in the # of Defendants under the Additional Fee Options. The system will automatically calculate, based on the number entered, if additional fees are due.
  6. Separate attachments/exhibits from the complaint or other document and file as separate documents pursuant to A.O. No. 2016-018.

Questions about E-Filing - Contact Us