Since June 21, 2014, Florida pro se litigants have been able to e-file their court documents in all counties and circuits throughout the state. E-filing has been in place for attorneys for some time, and this move may level the playing field for pro se litigants. In the past, pro se litigants have struggled to meet the requirements of court filings. A few circuits have active pro se help desks that benefit consumers by making sure that their documents are complete and correct. However, in many other circuits pro se litigants' access to the legal system is effectively obstructed by clerks of court who reject pro se litigants documents for errors or missing forms.
In the past, pro se filings sometimes languished in legal limbo due to a deficiency. Frequently, pro se litigants experience immense frustration when dealing with the court system. Consumers are often met with a non-answer from a court clerk - "We are prohibited from giving legal advice". Fair enough, however, when the clerks select forms for pro se litigants by refusing to accept their documents for lack of a form, is that not also legal advice according to the Florida Bar UPL rules?
To electronically file your court documents; and learn more about e-filing for pro se litigants go to www.myflcourtaccess.com.
Pro Se E-Filing Pointers:
The Florida E-Filing system is reasonably intuitive for someone with average computer skills. That said, some people find the system completely incomprehensible. We suggest that pro se filers attempt to file their documents themselves after setting up their account. Then, if needed, a document preparer can help or talk you through the process. The date stamp shown on the training videos on the efiling portal are from 2014, when the E-Filing Portal was first opened to pro se litigants. A few things may have changed since then. But the general rules have remained constant.
For example, at one time exhibits were filed separately from the pleading, now they must be merged into one pdf file. And, in the past, the number of pages was requested, but now that is no longer necessary.
If after attempting to E-File your documents, you still need some help, one of our member document preparers will be happy to assist. Send us a contact form or call 800-515-0496.
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