The Florida Bar

Florida Bar News

E-filing portal upgraded to handle larger documents

Regular News

E-filing portal upgraded to handle larger documents

Lawyers are now able to file and serve larger electronic documents through the Florida courts’ statewide e-filing portal and soon they should be able to file more documents at one time.

At an April 7 meeting, the Florida Courts E-Filing Authority got a report on its April 15 software update that made changes to the e-filing process.

Of particular interest to lawyers is an improvement that doubles the size of submissions that can be filed through the court system’s statewide e-filing portal. The upgrades, among other changes, will also eventually allow the electronic filing of documents in multiple cases in one filing session.

Both large law firms and private companies have approached the authority about “batch” filing for their cases – something the authority has done for state attorneys and public defenders for criminal cases.

It’s expected that private vendors would market the service to larger law firms with high case and court paperwork volumes, but might pitch small firms to handle their court electronic filing work.

The software update, which was in place beginning April 16, made provisions for private firm batch filings, but final standards, legal requirements, and other issues must be resolved before that batch filing can begin. The authority had tentatively set another meeting on April 28 to work on those issues.

As for document size, the portal upgrade accommodates the request from the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee and the Florida Courts Technology Commission to increase the capacity of the system. One change is electronically filed documents that will also be electronically served via the portal can now be 10 megabytes instead of the old limit of five megabytes. The total size of documents per filing session is going from 25 to 50 megabytes, which also means that a single document can be up to 50 megabytes.

The committee has requested that the document size standards be moved from the Rules of Judicial Administration to the Supreme Court Standards for Electronic Access to the Courts. Those standards are under the supervision of the Florida Courts Technology Commission and can be amended much faster than procedural rules as technology and portal abilities change.

The rule amendment authorizing those changes was approved by the Supreme Court on April 14, in time to be included with the upgrade.

The portal upgrade made other changes that affect lawyers.

One is on the reminder about protecting confidential information and keeping unnecessary personal information out of court filings.

Under the old system, lawyers filing documents had to click on “buttons” during the filing process certifying they were complying with Rules of Judicial Administration 2.420 and 2.425 regarding identifying confidential information that clerks must protect in the filing and seeking to minimize the unnecessary filing of personal information. Under the revised filing procedure, lawyers will see a warning that their electronic signature on the documents serves as a verification they are following rules relating to that information, along with links to those rules.

The upgrade will allow electronic service to judges and allow lawyers and judges to exchange proposed orders through the portal.

Other planned improvements for users include allowing the choice of “preferences” for certain case types to make those filings easier; collecting more information from those emailing for service desk assistance to speed the response time; and checking to be sure when a filer adds an email address in the “Add Party” screen that the address is in a valid format.

News in Photos

Columns

Be a Judicial Lawyer

Columns | Jun 05, 2024

The Mindful Lawyer: Mindfulness and Anxiety — A Process of Elimination

Columns | May 09, 2024

Be A Referring Lawyer

Columns | May 03, 2024

Be a Listening Lawyer

Columns | Apr 04, 2024