CLERK OF COURT & COMPTROLLER

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLORIDA

E-Filing in the Clerk's Office

The Florida Supreme Court Standards for Electronic Access to Courts (November 2016) sets the standards for e-Filing for Clerks of Court to follow across the State of Florida.

The Florida Courts E-Filing Portal provides a list of answers to frequently asked questions and training videos which can be accessed through the following links:

E-Filing FAQs

Can a single filing apply to more than one case number?

    No. Filings must be submitted on a 'per case basis'.

How do I know if I have to pay the re-open fees for a Motion filed?

   The filer will be notified by e-mail if the re-open fee is required to be paid.

I work for a state agency which is exempt from paying the required fees, how do I submit my e-Filing transaction through the portal and not have to pay the fees?

    Use the 'fee waiver' process at the payment screen, enter "State Agency - Exempt" in the fee waiver reason box and upload a request on your agency letterhead stating you are exempt from payment. The Clerk will review your request and remove the filing fees, as needed.

How do I determine if my case should be filed in East Division of the circuit?

    Review Administrative Order S-2013-033 for directions on the assignment of cases based on geographic location. Alert the Clerk that a Circuit Civil and County Civil new case filings requires assignment to a specific division through the submission of the Division Assignment Request form.

    

How will filers submit proposed orders to the court?

    Please view each judge's webpage to determine their preference for receiving un-signed orders. Proposed orders related to bail bonds matters must be e-filed along with the bail bond motion/application packet. The clerk's legal counsel will be responsible for uploading an agreed order to the division judge through JAWS. The clerk's legal counsel must not submit any order through JAWS until all parties have had a minimum of three business days to respond to the motion/application, excluding the day of service (see AO S-2014-037).

What types of documents will the Clerk's Office not accept through the e-Filing Portal?

    At this time, all Registrations of Foreign Judgments, Out-of-State Commissions, requests for issuance of process for service by publication and posting of surety/cash bonds, must be submitted directly to the Clerk’s office and not through the e-Filing Portal.     

How will the summonses be issued?

    County Court / Small Claims / Landlord Tenant Cases:

    After filing an eviction complaint at the e-Filing Portal you will need to submit the summons for issuance in paper form to the Clerk’s office.  Copies and envelopes with sufficient postage for each mailing also need to be provided to the Clerk. The fees for issuance will need to be paid at the time the summons is presented to the Clerk.

    All other summonses will be prepared and issued by the Clerk electronically.  A filer must prepare an individual “Request for Issuance of Summons Form” for each summons to be issued. You can locate the request form(s) needed for this at this link:  County Civil  The request form will be filed to the action and associated with a docket entry at the e-Filing Portal (REQUEST FOR SUMMONS TO BE ISSUED). The statutory $10.00 Summons Issuance Fee will be computed on the Case Information Screen at the e-Filing Portal. Payment of this fee will also be processed at the e-Filing Portal. Once the form and payment is received by the Clerk’s office, we will prepare and issue the summons.  The electronically issued summons will be e-mailed back to the filer. The filer is then responsible for effectuating service on the party.

     

How do I file a Notice of Action for Service by Publication through the e-Filing Portal?

     Requests for issuance of service of process by publication will not be accepted through the e-Filing Portal. The Notice of Action must be submitted to the Clerk in paper form. The completed Notice of Action must include the response due date as defined by F.S. 49.09
If a mailing is required under F.S. 49.12, the following must also be provided to the Clerk:

    (1) A pre-addressed envelope for the residence of any party to be served by publication with sufficient pre-paid postage
    (2) Sufficient copies for the mailing

    It will be the responsibility of the filer to forward the issued Notice of Action document to the newspaper for publication. If the petitioner/ plaintiff is determined to be indigent by the Clerk, the notice will be posted by the Clerk as directed under F.S. 49.10.
The request to the Clerk for issuance of service of process by publication must include a self-addressed, pre-stamped envelope for return of the issued Notice of Action to the filer. 

How do I get a Writ of Possession, Writ of Execution, or Writ of Replevin issued through the portal?

    Submit your proposed Writ form through the e-Filing Portal using the Document Type of ”PROPOSED WRIT OF POSSESSION” or “PROPOSED WRIT OF EXECUTION” or "PROPOSED WRIT OF REPLEVIN”. The Clerk will review and issue your Writ. The issued Writ will be returned to you via e-mail. Please include an e-mail address on the document for the Clerk to use in order to return the issued Writ. The filer will be responsible for providing the issued Writ to the Sheriff for service.

How do I make a deposit into the courts registry from the e-Filing Portal?

    Registry deposits and rent deposits cannot be accepted through the e-Filing Portal and must be submitted directly to the Clerk's Office. 

Do I file mortgage foreclosure packets through the e-Filing Portal?

    No. Please comply with S-2016-060: Foreclosure Procedures 

What type of documents must be deposited with the Clerk and maintained for safekeeping in their original paper format after e-Filing with Hillsborough County?

    You should submit Last Will and Testaments, Codicils and Separate Writings, Oaths of the Personal Representative and Guardian, Deeds, Mortgages, Surety Bonds and Cash Bonds, Commissions, Authenticated and Exemplified copies, Death Certificates and Credit Reports to our office for safekeeping.

How should I file exhibits accompanying a document?

    Section 3.1.13.2 of the Florida Supreme Court Standards for Electronic Access to the Courts (November 2016) addresses this topic. Each exhibit accompanying a document should be filed separately but under the same e-filing transaction. We ask that each exhibit have a title page referencing the document to which it relates along with the case number and case style.

How do I file the Notice to Creditors?

    The Notice to Creditors should not be filed unless you have already sent it to the Publication of your choice. The Notice to Creditors should reflect the date of first publication.

When should I file the Notice of Administration?

    The Notice of Administration should be filed after Letters of Administration have been issued.

When should I file the Inventory of the Personal Representative?

    The Inventory of Personal Representative on a Formal Administration should be filed after Letters of Administration have been issued.

How do I pay the Audit fee?

    At this time, we are not able to collect the Audit fee through the Portal. Please submit your audit fee through the mail or in person after you file the Inventory or Accounting through the Portal.

What Document Type should I use when filing and Initial Inventory or an Annual Accounting?

    Select INITIAL INV/ANN ACCOUNTING RPT FILED when filing whether you are filing an amended, simplified or regular Inventory or Accounting. The Clerk Reviewer will add the appropriate wording, such as Amended, in the Text Box.