eFiling across the state
Electronic court filing has been mandatory in Florida since 2013 through their ePortal system. The state’s system, and its certified eFiling providers, cover all 67 counties in Florida.
eFilings are deemed complete on the date and time the electronic filing is received by the court’s system. Filings completed before midnight are considered filed on that business day. Filings submitted after midnight are considered filed the following court day.
All documents filed in any Florida state court must be filed electronically as per Rule 2.525. Documents are any paper or writing submitted to the court.
The requirements for eFiled documents are:
- Many of the general formatting rules for traditional paper filing are also applicable to eFiled documents, such as paper size, margins, and page numbering
- PDF format is preferred, Word is accepted
- All eFiled documents must be text searchable and comply with accessibility requirements
- Images, charts, and graphs must contain alt text
- Tables must be properly styled and organized
- Files larger than 10 pages must have electronic bookmarks
- When necessary, a clickable table of contents should be used
- All comments, tracked changes, and markups should be deleted
- Hyperlinks should be active and use the fully-qualified URL
- All documents submitted within a single order must be within 50 MB
- Sensitive information must be redacted from all filings, including minors’ names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, and bank or credit card numbers (Fla. R. Gen. Prac. & Jud. Admin. 2.425)
- If any confidential information exists that is material to an issue before the court, it may be excepted from the mandatory redaction requirement. In this case, complete a Notice of Confidential Information Within Court Filing. (see Practice Note, Filing Under Seal (FL))
- Remove all metadata from the PDF
Unsworn documents: May contain a handwritten signature or an electronic signature indicator (“/s/”, “s/”, or “/s/ [NAME]”)
Documents requiring notarization or sworn signatures: Must contain scanned images of the handwritten signature or an electronic notarization. Electronic signatures are insufficient.
Documents signed by counsel: Must contain a signature block identifying the attorney’s:
- Telephone number
- Email address
- Florida Bar number (or notice that counsel is admitted pro hac vice).
Documents with multiple signatures: If signed by multiple parties, the document should contain a signature block for each signer, shown side-by-side. The other party’s attorney signature can be indicated with a “/s/” and the filer should indicate that consent was obtained from the other signatories to electronically sign on their behalf.
Exhibits should be titled as “Exhibit A and B” or “Exhibits 1 and 2” and so on. Document titles should include “Part 1 of 4”, etc., if applicable.
Exhibits should contain either:
- A slip-sheet before the first substantive page of the exhibit identifying the exhibit number or letter in the center of the page
- A sticker at the bottom of the exhibit that identifies the exhibit number or letter
Each court and judge will have different rules around if a printed courtesy copy is required. Many filers choose to provide the judge with separately tabbed exhibits to assist in the reviewing before and during the hearing, even when not required.
After the clerk reviews the filing, you will receive a notification that your filing has either been processed successfully or rejected, along with the reason why. You then have five business days to correct the issue and re-file.
If you simply replace the document to address the reason for rejection, the official file stamp date remains the same. If you remove or add documents to the filing, a new file stamp date is assigned.
Exceptions to eFiling
Rule 2.525(d) outlines circumstances in which a party may submit physical documents to the court.
- Self-represented litigants may eFile but are not required to
- If the court has excused an attorney from email service
- When submitting evidentiary exhibits or filing non-documentary materials
- If the filing exceeds the limitations of 50 MB
- When the judge accepted the filing in open court
- If local rules permit paper filing
- If the clerk is not able to accept and retain electronic filings or has not had electronic filing procedures approved
- If the court determines that justice so requires
- Original wills or codicils
- Filings in support of termination of parental rights, such as consents for adoption or affidavits of non-paternity
Mandatory electronic service
This ruler equires interlocutory documents to be served by email. Documents that are served but not filed should also be served by email.
Counsel must designate a primary email address and may designate up to two secondary email addresses for electronic service, upon appearing in a proceeding.
Exceptions to eService
- The parties stipulate otherwise.
- An attorney to be served is exempt from email service.
- A pro se party has not designated an email address to accept service.
Counsel must serve by hand delivery, U.S. mail, or fax if the above exceptions apply.
The rules establish the following formatting requirements.
- Subject line must contain “SERVICE OF COURT DOCUMENT Case No.” followed by the case number and case style of the proceeding.
- Body of the email contains:
- The court.
- The case number.
- The first-named party on each side.
- The title(s) of the document(s) being served.
- The name and telephone number of the person serving the document(s)
- The Florida Portal has a limit of 5 MB for eServed documents
Proof of eService
It is common for Florida attorneys to attach a certificate of service at the end of each document filed after the original complaint.
This should include:
- Name(s) of the attorney(s) served.
- Firm name of the attorney(s) served.
- Address used for service (that is, email addresses, fax number, or mailing or delivery address).
- Mailing address, if different from the service address.
- Method of service.
- Date of service.
eService through InfoTrack and the Florida portal both fulfill these requirements.
Court fees, charges, and billing
InfoTrack disburses all court fees and convenience fees on behalf of filers. Florida filing fees vary by county.
InfoTrack will pay the court's required fee of $5 upfront on the filer’s behalf.
Payment and billing details
InfoTrack accepts all major credit cards, for which a 2.9% convenience fee will be applied.
Payments by ACH will not be charged convenience fees.