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FAQ: E-Filing - Self-Represented Litigant Filer

E-Filing: Self-represented Litigants (Pro Se)

General Questions
E-Service
E-Issuance
Software & Hardware
Payment of Fees
Case Specific Information
Security & Privacy
E-Signature & Time Stamp
Notifications
Contacts
General Questions
What is e-filing?

E-filing is the electronic filing of documents to the clerk’s office using the Internet. All Florida counties utilize a statewide portal administered by the Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers Association (FCCC) as outlined in Florida Supreme Court Administrative Order AOSC09-30. The e-filing portal accepts filings electronically and routes them to clerk’s offices to be processed.

What is e-service?

Electronic service or e-service is the delivery of documents to parties through the internet. When you register with the portal and file documents on a case, you agree to be served documents electronically. For this reason, it is very important that you have regular access to an e-mail account through a computer or your smart phone.

What if I do not have access to a computer?

Please note that e-filing is NOT mandatory for self-represented litigants. Our office will continue to accept paper filings from self-represented litigants. E-filing is simply an added convenience for those filers who would like to take advantage of the service.

Is e-filing free?

There is no cost for registering with the portal or for filing documents that have no fees associated. However, when filing documents that require fees to be paid, applicable service charges will also be applied. The service charge for a credit card payment is 3.5%. When paying by electronic check, the service charge is a flat fee of $5.

Where do I go to e-file documents?

Go to https://myflcourtaccess.com/. This is the homepage for the statewide e-filing portal.

How do I register to use the e-filing portal?

Go to https://myflcourtaccess.com and click on the “REGISTER NOW” link. NOTE: You will need a valid e-mail address and a U.S. mailing address in order to register with the portal. Follow the steps to create a user account.

Once you have registered, an e-mail will be sent to the e-mail address you provided during the registration process. This e-mail will contain a link to the User Account Activation page. Click on the link to complete the registration process and activate your account. Once complete, you are ready to
e-file!

What if I change my e-mail address?

Log on to the portal and go to “My Profile”. You will be able to change your e-mail address here to make certain that you receive important e-mails.

How do I know that my documents have been accepted?

When you file a document, you will receive two e-mails from the portal regarding your filing: one e-mail when the filing is submitted and a second e-mail when the filing is accepted. If the filing is not accepted for any reason, it will be returned (pended) back to you for correction. You will be notified by the portal with the reason the filing was returned to you, at which time you may log back into the portal make the correction and resubmit the filing.

How do I file an emergency filing?

When you are filing your document through the portal, you will have the option to mark your filing as an emergency. This will serve as an indication to the clerk processing your filing that it is an emergency. Please refer to Administrative Order 2.312 for more information on e-filing emergency documents.

Do I still have to file paper copies of documents that I e-file with the Clerk?

No. Once you e-file a document, the electronic record will serve as the original filing. For more information on what documents must be maintained by the filer as originals or what documents are required to be filed in paper format, please refer to Administrative Order 2.312.

E-Service
Is service provided through the Portal considered to be compliant with filing with the court?

Yes.

When I file through the portal, does this satisfy my requirement of service to the other parties?

Yes, if the party has signed up through the e-portal to receive service by email. The filer must make sure to check that person’s name to receive service when filing. If the party has not signed up through the e-portal, then the filer must send a copy of the document to the party through the mail.

Do I need to list in the certificate of service that service was via E-Filing?

The certificate of service should state that service was performed via the E-Filing portal and list the associated e-mail address along with the physical address of all E-service recipients.

How can I be removed from E-service on a case that I am not involved with in any way?

You will need to contact the filer and ask to be removed from the E-service list for that case. Alternately, you may click on the link in the e-service e-mail to be removed.

How can I update or be removed from E-service on a case in which I am no longer an active party?

Access your E-service list for the case on the Maintain My Cases page. Make any corrections needed to your e-mail address. You may also make yourself inactive from this page. For more information, please review the E-service User Guide.

I received E-service on a document twice. How do I know which document is correct?

The document you received last is the correct document. Documents are served when filings are submitted. When filers make corrections and resubmit filings, the documents are served again with the corrected copies.

E-Issuance
What is e-issuance?

E-issuance is the electronic issuance of documents by the Clerk’s office.

I received an e-mail from your office with a summons attached. What should I do with it?

The attachment is your summons that has been issued and must be served on the opposing party pursuant to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.070.

How do I have a party served in Palm Beach County with the summons I received via e-mail?

Print out your summons from the e-mail received. Obtain a copy of the complaint and any attachments and place with the summons. Obtain a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a check or money order made payable to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office (PBSO) in the amount of $40.00. You may take all of these items in person to PBSO, or mail them in to be served. Please contact the Civil Process Unit at 561-355-2760 for any questions about the process.

IN PERSON:
PBSO Civil Process Unit
205 N Dixie Hwy – Juvenile Building, 1st Floor
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

BY MAIL:
PBSO – Civil Process Unit
PO Box 24681
West Palm Beach, FL 33416

How do I have a party served in another county with the summons I received via e-mail?

Contact the sheriff’s office in the county in which the person lives. They will provide you with instructions and the fees needed (this may be different than above).

Can I serve a summons via e-mail?

No. Please see Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.070 for more information on acceptable personal service.

Software & Hardware
What are the formatting requirements for documents?

As defined in the Rules of Judicial Administration 2.520:

  • 8 ½ x 11 inch paper size
  • Portrait orientations
  • 300 DPI Resolution
  • Black and White/Bi-Tonal not Grayscale or Color
Do I need any special hardware or software?

No. Filers should be able to use the E-Filing portal as long as they have a computer with an Internet connection and browser.

What document types does the E-Portal support?

The E-Portal will accept filings in Microsoft Word 97 (or higher), WordPerfect and Adobe PDF formats. All documents will be converted to PDF format by the E-Portal. By default, the E-Portal will provide the PDF format to the local record system.

Are there size limitations on E-Filed documents?

Yes. The E-Portal cannot accommodate files with a combined size that exceeds 25 MB for one submission. Larger files will not be uploaded. Note: The E-Portal will only allow documents to be uploaded to one case at a time. You may load multiple documents to each case; however, use only one Word or PDF file per pleading. For example, if filing a Complaint, a Lis Pendens, and a Civil Cover Sheet; attach three separate files that combined, do not exceed 25 MB.

Will the Clerk’s office only accept E-Filed documents?

No. Paper documents will still be accepted at any of our courthouse locations in Palm Beach County when filed by pro se litigants.

Payment of Fees
When is my account charged for payment?

The payment method is validated at the time the filing is submitted. However, money is not charged to your account until the filing is accepted by the clerk.

How do I delete payment account information for my filings?

Access the Portal. From the dropdown menu under Accounts, select My Profile. Chose the Payment Accounts tab and update your payment information.

How do I pay fees for the document I have E-Filed?

Civil fees must be paid online through the E-Filing portal. Criminal fees for appeals and fees for petitions to seal and expunge can be paid online through the e-filing portal. Other criminal fees cannot be paid at this time and must be paid at any Palm Beach County courthouse location.

The regular filing fees established by Florida law are required to be paid to file cases with Florida’s courts. In addition to the filing fees, there are also convenience fees established to offset the use of electronic funds transfer, whether using a credit, charge or debit card, or an Automated Clearing House (ACH) transaction. The portal accepts MasterCard, Discover and American Express cards with a 3.5 percent service charge. The fee for an ACH transaction is a $5.00 flat fee.

Why doesn’t the E-Portal accept Visa?

Visa required a service charge that was out of line as compared to the other credit card vendors.

What if I don’t want to pay by credit card?

The E-Filing system accepts electronic checks, for those who don’t want to pay by credit card.

Case Specific Information
What format should I use on the E-Portal for case number?

In order to search and find a case on the E-Portal (ex. 2014CA000123), your case number must be in the following format:

  • 4-digit year (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, etc…)
  • 6-digit case sequence (000123)
  • 2-digit court type (For example: CP, GA, CA,CC)

If you are not sure of your existing case number, you may use the public search functions on the Palm Beach County Clerk & Comptroller’s website. You may search criminal records or civil records online.

Why do some case styles contain a party “Unavailable”?

For different reasons, the style of the case may display as Not Available in the portal. You may still proceed with your filing.

I am getting the error “Case # provided can’t be verified. Case With Tracking ID is not found” when I try to E-File pleadings for an existing case. What do I do?

Please follow the instructions in this guide to submit your E-Filing.

Security & Privacy
Will the E-Portal provide access to filings once they are accepted by the Clerk?

No. Once the filing is accepted and released to the Clerk’s case management system (CMS), it becomes the official court record just like it does with the current paper process. However, you may view a record listing of all your filings at the My Filings screen on the E-Portal.

Should I file documents that contain confidential information like social security numbers?

Pursuant to Rules 2.420 and 2.425, Florida Rules of Judicial Administration, there are some items that need to remain confidential. These requirements apply to all documents, including attachments. At the time of uploading the documents, you will need to indicate if your document contains confidential information or not. Please consult the rules to see if your filing contains information that is considered confidential.

E-Signature & Time Stamp
How do I sign my document electronically?

The E-Portal system operates in accordance with the Supreme Courts’ Administrative Order (AO09-30) for the use of “/s” in lieu of electronic signatures. A pleading or other document is not required to bear the electronic image of the handwritten signature or an encrypted signature of the attorney, but may be signed in the following manner when electronically filed.

/s/ John Doe
John Doe (e-mail address)

123 South Street
Orlando, FL 32800

Telephone: (407) 123-4567

When can I e-file?

An electronic filing may be submitted to the portal at any time of the day or night, twenty four (24) hours a day, seven days a week. For purposes of determining the initial filing date, a document shall be deemed to be filed on the date and time when the electronic filing is received at the E-Portal. See Florida Supreme Court Standards for Electronic Access to the Courts. The file received date and time will be electronically stamped as a watermark at the top right of all document images.

Notifications
What electronic notifications will be sent by the E-Portal?

Registration Notices:

  • Receipt of subscriber application
  • Acceptance/activation of subscriber account
  • Change of subscriber profile including login credentials

Filing Notices:

  • Receipt of filing (including filing id #)
  • Acceptance of filing (including filing id # and case #)
  • Pending of filing (including filing id #, case #, and pending reason)
Contacts
I didn’t receive a confirmation e-mail from the portal for my registration. Who should I contact?

Contact an administrator who can activate your E-Portal registration at:
ProSe-Support@myflcourtaccess.com or call the portal at 850-577-4609. Please note that you will need to leave a message with a call back number with the portal, and a technician will return your call.

Resources:

E-Filing Portal Support
ProSe-Support@myflcourtaccess.com
(850) 577-4609

Clerk & Comptroller of Palm Beach County:
Civil-efile@mypalmbeachclerk.com 
Self Service Center: (561) 355-7048

Legal Aid of Palm Beach County: http://www.legalaidpbc.org/
The Florida Bar: http://www.floridabar.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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