- Florida Court
- Clerks & Comptrollers
How the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers Improved Efficiency with Technology
Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers (FCCC) is a statewide association of the 68 independently elected Clerks of Court & Comptrollers performing over 1,000 constitutional and statutory tasks geared toward protecting resident interests, including providing checks and balances for tax dollar spending and serving as the keeper of court records. Spanning all 67 counties in Florida, FCCC embraces technology to connect all who file documents in the state. Digital solutions are critical to upholding FCCC’s mission to protect the public trust across the state, and the association has achieved long-term success with the Granicus e-filing solution.
- 127% higher new case volumes than previous record
- 97,225 average submissions per weekday
- 1.9 million submissions per month
- $61 million estimated cost savings in postage over 8 years
Recognizing the Need for Greater Efficiency
A little more than 10 years ago, attorneys, Clerks, and individuals representing themselves in court cases relied solely on paper filings. A paper system allowed only one person at a time to view a file, which often created backups in the system. Additionally, filing had to be done in-person at a Clerk’s office and during business hours. Filers would submit their documents into a basket on the front desk, leaving filings unsecured and out in the open for anyone to view. For those filing by mail (or who lived too far to file in-person), the postage fees could be excessive, particularly for larger court filings which might include up to 50 or more pages of pertinent documentation.
The paper-based process was time-consuming, expensive, and in need of modernization. At the direction of the Florida Legislature and working within the standards established by the Florida Supreme Court, Florida’s Clerks began developing a statewide e-filing system. That system became known as the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal, governed by a body of all Florida’s 67 elected Clerks of the Court and the Florida Supreme Court clerk, who represents Florida’s appellate courts.
In 2010, FCCC, the Florida Supreme Court, and The Florida Bar each donated $20,000 to cover initial expenses to establish a governing body for the program – the Florida Courts E-Filing Authority. The E-Filing Authority contracts with FCCC to develop, manage, and staff the E-Filing Portal.
In 2013, the Supreme Court of Florida mandated that all attorneys e-file civil case documents, and the directive to e-file criminal cases followed a year later. Over the past 10 years, the E-Filing Portal has grown in usage and continues to increase efficiency for Clerks, judges, attorneys, and many other users who interact with the court system.
Recently, the E-Filing Portal experienced an uptick in new civil case volume, with more than 280,000 new cases filed during the month of March 2023.
Upon implementing the govRecords eUniversa solution dubbed the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal in 2011, FCCC found greater efficiencies in handling all of Florida’s court e-filings. The software connected all 67 counties in the state regardless of the case maintenance system used. Over the years, the Florida Courts E-Filing Authority has updated the system and applied helpful changes that serve the Clerks’ offices.
With filing volumes consistently increasing, it is vital that the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal is always available. The long-term partnership with Granicus has helped the state realize greater accessibility. This single system solution has modernized the filing process and created efficiencies for attorneys, Clerks, judges, and litigants. E-filing has made it possible for people to access the E-Filing Portal from anywhere, at any time. All court files are housed online and can be viewed by multiple parties at once.
Saving Time and Money While Enhancing Security
Overall, the digital solution has improved processes and saved the Clerks, and all users, valuable resources. Prior to implementing the e-filing solution, Florida attorneys were required to send documents to all necessary parties in the physical mail using envelopes and stamps. This digital move eliminated that step and has resulted in huge time savings and an estimated $61 million in cost savings over eight years. The E-Filing Portal creates a secure way to transmit timestamped documents to the Clerk’s Office for acceptance, adding it to the official court file for each case.