Written by Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney Lyle B. Mazin.
E-Filing is the wave of the future and the future is here for Orlando Criminal Defense Attorneys. Up until now, criminal defense attorneys were immune from e-filing requirements but effective October 1, 2013, pursuant to Florida Supreme Court Mandate, all documents must be e-filed.
There are some clear advantages of e-filing over traditional filing:
- An attorney no longer has to leave his desk to file documents.
- The 3:45 pm race to the Clerk's Office is no more (sorry Orlando red light cameras, you wont be taking my picture anymore).
- Attorneys will receive confirmation their documents have been successfully filed.
- Attorneys can access the court documents 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Paper waste and copy supply costs will be reduced significantly.
The process to begin e-filing is relatively simple:
- Go to https://www.myflcourtaccess.com
- Click "Register Now."
- You will be taken to a registration page
- Users are validated via the The Florida Bar. Thus, be sure to to enter your Bar ID and Name exactly as it is listed on the Florida Bar
- Fill out the requested information, including a valid email address, and thats it!
There is no fee to register nor a fee to file documents. Documents up to 25 Megabytes may be uploaded (documents exceeding 25 Megabytes may be transmitted using an electronic storage medium such as a CD-ROM, flash drive, or similar storage medium).
One major concern by criminal defense attorneys was the need for hand signatures on documents. If documents need to be signed via hand then the process could become very inefficient as the attorney would need to print all documents, sign all documents and then scan them all back for uploading. Fortunately, a document is not required to bear the electronic image of the handwritten signature and may be signed electronically in the following manner when electronically filed through a registered user’s login and password:
"s/ John Doe"
(Verified and sworn documents may be filed electronically but must also be deposited with the Clerk’s office in paper format.)
Majority of State Attorney's offices and Public Defender's offices are not ready to comply with e-filing and have requested extensions. The Public Defender's Office for the Ninth Judicial Circuit is ready but the Office of the State Attorney is not. Regardless, all private Orlando Criminal Defense Attorneys must begin e-filing October 1, 2013.
Those needing further information can find helpful resources such as FAQ's, Vidoes and CLE's at:
- My Florida Court Access FAQ's
- The Florida Bar E-Filing Resources