LegalYou: E-Filing and E-Service

Unless you’ve been living under a very remote rock or been stuck in a museum exhibit for a long time, you know that we live in the digital age. Everything is e-something– email, e-cigarettes, eBay, eHarmony, and the courts of our great land are no different. E-filing and e-service have become more than a novelty in the legal system.

They are crucial components, and in the case of e-filing — mandatory. In 2012, Florida began requiring every court document in nearly all types of civil cases and beyond, to be e-filed. This is done through the Florida court’s e-filing portal at www.myflcourtaccess.com.

There are practical reasons for mandating e-filing in the court system. Before the internet, filing papers with the court meant either mailing them or going down to the court, waiting in line and making sure it got stamped with the correct date.

However, if the deadline was fast approaching, regular mail would not do. And like now, you could only hand deliver them during the hours court is open. Now with e-filing, you don’t have to leave your couch.

Plus, it’s considered filed, once you receive your online confirmation, and you have until midnight on the day it is due to get done. Perfect for the procrastinating night owl. Now service, which is where every document is sent to to every party involved in a case, was also subjected to the same pre-internet problems as filing.

Today though, you can send documents to all the parties through email. It’s faster, easier, and cheaper than printing everything out and sealing them in envelopes. However, there are rules for how email should be presented and formatted.

Check with the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration for the right information, or just have LegalYou worry about these details for you. It’s kind of our thing.

Any other questions you have regarding this or other legal matters, visit LegalYou.com.