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September 1, 2013
E-service expected by mid-September

By Gary Blankenship
Senior Editor

Sometime soon, probably around mid-September, Bar members will be able to have electronic service of documents they file through the Florida court systems’ online portal.

Carolyn Weber, who oversees the development of e-service for the Florida Courts E-Filing Authority Board, said the service is aimed at saving work for attorneys.

Here’s how it will work:

Attorneys will continue to electronically file documents as they do now through the statewide portal. But when they come to the end of the process, there will be an extra tab on the screen — e-service — that they can select before filing the document.

Weber said when an attorney clicks on the tab, a list will be displayed with the email addresses of all attorneys who have filed documents in the case.

“The filing attorney has the ability to select or deselect from the service list,” she said.

When the filing is submitted, an email will go to all the people chosen from that list with a PDF document of the filing attached.

Attorneys, Weber said, can use their email address registered with the portal to receive e-service documents, or add up to three other email addresses. That will allow them to have copies of case documents sent to other attorneys in their firms.

Attorneys can edit and change email addresses they added to the e-service list, but not those appended by other attorneys.

While pro se litigants cannot yet electronically file through the portal, Weber said an attorney can add an email address for a pro se party if that party wishes to be electronically served with e-filed documents.

While the authority is working to provide e-service, the Bar’s Rules of Judicial Administration is fast-tracking rule amendments necessary to implement that amenity. Committee member Paul Regensdorf told the Bar Board of Governors at its July meeting that a subcommittee was rushing to finish rules amendments necessary for e-service. He noted that since the board didn’t meet again until October, it would be necessary for the Bar Executive Committee to review those amendments before they are submitted to the Supreme Court.

For more information and help about e-filing, e-service, and related issues, visit the Florida Courts E-Filing Authority website at https://www.myflcourtaccess.com.

[Revised: 04-15-2014]