Less than half the affected lawyers had registered to be able to e-file documents just three weeks before mandatory e-filing was set to go into effect for all civil trial cases in Florida.
Although most Florida counties are ready to accept e-filings, some of the largest don’t anticipate being fully ready to accept electronic filings until the April 1 implementation date. That means attorneys in those counties may have trouble practicing filing electronically before mandatory e-filing kicks in.
E-filing will be done through a statewide portal, which is under the jurisdiction of the Florida Courts E-Filing Authority. The portal can be found at www.myflcourtaccess.com.
There are resources to help attorneys. The Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers, which is developing the portal under contract with the Florida Courts E-Filing Authority, has prepared a variety of instructional videos. They can be found on the authority’s website at www.flclerks.com/eFiling_authority.html.
The topics include:
* Welcome to the Florida Courts e-filing ePortal
* e-Portal e-Filer Documentation
* e-Portal e-Filer Registration
* e-Portal e-Filer My Profile
* e-Filing to a New Case
* e-Filing to an Existing Case
* Document Generation and uploading to e-Portal
* Payment Options and the Fee Waiver
* Processing e-Filings from the Pending Queue
* e-Filer Law Firm Account Administration
* Law Firm Admin – Disassociating e-Portal User from the Law Firm
The Florida Bar is also posting instructions and links on its website. On that page, the Bar has updated the E-Filing and Service by E-Mail document to include more in-depth information about e-filing.
In addition, the e-filing authority board, which oversees the portal through which all electronic filing is done, has established a special committee to address any last-minute glitches that arise. Those will also be posted on the authority’s website and likely by the Bar, as well.
One change has already been made in response to attorney concerns. Originally users had to change their portal passwords every three months. That requirement has been dropped, and it is now up to attorneys to decide if and when to change their passwords.