Electronic Filing

The ePortal is a web site that provides eFiling and eRecording capability to users with a single statewide login. Users may utilize the ePortal web interface to submit documents to Clerks and Recorders. The ePortal also supports automated interfaces with other submitter systems. The ePortal supports transmissions to/from the local case/recording systems using national XML standards. The ePortal also provides electronic notifications and service on behalf of filers.

Individual Florida Bar members will register to use the system and receive authentication credentials (login ID, password) upon validation of their registration. Upon receipt of the completed Online Electronic Filing Registration, the system will verify that the attorney is admitted to practice and in good standing with the Florida Bar. A combination including but not limited to name, e-mail and Florida Bar Number, obtained during registration, will be validated against an electronic list provided by the Florida Bar. The attorney will be able to designate their user name and password. Email notification will be sent to the attorney at their identified e-mail account reflecting either approval or denial of the account. The selected user name and password will enable the attorney to retrieve and file documents electronically and to receive the Notice of Electronic Filing. The person to whom the user name and password is responsible for any documents filed using that user name and password. Each local Clerk's office may opt to participate in the authentication of the user accounts if they choose to do so.

Pro-se litigants will access the ePortal in a similar manner as attorneys. However, the user application process will have to utilize a different authentication process utilizing a government issued ID. All documents requiring a signature will need to be scanned by the filer at 300dpi resolution and attached as part of their electronic submission.

The ePortal will support the following electronic notifications:

1. Receipt of subscriber application
2. Acceptance/activation of subscriber account
3. Change of subscriber profile including login credentials
4. Receipt of filing including filing id number
5. Acceptance of filing including filing id number and case identification data
6. Rejection of filing including filing id number, case identification data and rejection reason

The ePortal will accept filings in Word or PDF formats. All document will be converted to PDF formats by the ePortal. By default, the ePortal will provide the PDF format to the local record system. Each county will also have the option to receive the original Word document if available. The ePortal can also provide the conversion to tiff upon request if the local DMS cannot.

Authorized filers may access the ePortal and file documents at no charge above the statutory filing fee. If a filer chooses to pay statutory fees using a credit card, the will be charged an additional credit card transaction fee which will be used to cover the associated banking and merchant fees as allowed by Florida Statutes.

All dates and items, including when the filing is received at the ePortal and accepted/rejected by the clerk, are stored in the ePortal database to ensure accuracy and consistency of when the event took place. An electronic filing may be submitted to the portal at any time of the day or night, twenty four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week. For purposes of determining timeliness. an accepted filing shall be deemed filed on the date and time when the electronic filing is received at the ePortal.

The ePortal provides access to filings "in progress" only. Once the filing is accepted and filed in the local CMS/DMS, this becomes the official court record just like the current paper process. Original filings are retained at the portal for a brief period and then removed. Permanent access to these documents will be provided through existing methods - local web sites and CCIS links.

Per AOSC04-04, filers will on be able to access cases of which they are a party of record. This access will be provided through a secured link to the existing CCIS database and links. When a county implements ICD Version 2.00 of CCIS, the Bar ID will be linked to each case in CCIS. When an attorney of recorded registers on the Portal with their Bar ID, they will be able to see any case linked to their Bar ID via a secured link to the existing CCIS database.

The ePortal is capable of interfacing with other electronic filing service provider systems through the use of Secured Web Services. This functionality allows for system to system interaction with existing and new systems. The ePortal is capable of sending and removed standard per-packaged transactions in accordance with current XML standards known as the Electronic Court Filing (EDF) Version 4.0. This standard utilizes other existing SML standards such as National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) and Oasis Legal XML. This standard allows for interfaces with providers and large law firms with the capability of ECF 4.0 XML compliant output. The ePortal provides a common entry point for court electronic filings in the State of Florida and has been developed in compliance with eFiling rules as set forth in Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.525 as well as standards set forth by the Supreme Court's eFiling Committee and subsequently approved by the Supreme Court in AO 09-30. The ePortal's electronic filing implementation is based on implementation of each Major Design Element (MDE) as defined in "Oasis Legal XML Electronic Court Filing Specification Version 4.0 (ECF 4.0 Specification)". The ePortal provides the Filing Assembly. Filing Review and Service MDE's. The Courts Record MDE is implemented by each Clerk-specific Case Management System application. The Courts Record MDE provides the primary interface to integrate the ePortal eFiling transactions with the official case record of the court (i.e. Clerk's Case Maintenance System). The ePortal uses an adapter pattern to interface with Court Record MDE operations. Interfaces specific to a county case maintenance systems are loaded dynamically at runtime. Components implementing the "Court Record MDE operations" are deployed into the same networking environment as underlying CMS and must be accessible over a public network or via a proxy accessible over a public network. Application Adaptors my be necessary for Court Record MDE implementations that are not compliant with ECF 4.0 specifications.

A test site (test.myfldocs.com) exists for this purpose and is supported by the FACC Service Center (support@flclerks.com). FACC development and testing team will work with the local CMS application development and testing team directly during the integration testing phase. A set of "Test Cases" created by the Portal team will be shared with CMS application team, are used as a base line for integration testing of CMS Interface. During the integration testing the portal team is responsible for generating the filings sent to the CMS interface. Once integration aspects of the interface are tested, then additional testing can take place without involving the portal team.

No, the ePortal support two modes of a Filing Review Process: "Portal Review" and "Local Review". The "Review Process Mode" is configured at each organization (Clerk) level. In "Portal Review Mode", filings submitted by the filers are stored at the ePortal. Reviewers (i.e County Clerk Staff) sign on to the ePortal and utilize applications provided by the ePortal to review these filings. Upon completion of the review process, filings are sent to local record keeping systems for docketing. In this mode, all functions of filing review process (receiving, presenting and managing the filings) are handled at the ePortal level by ePortal provided components. In "Local Review Mode" (also called a non-eportal Review), filings submitted by the filers are initially stored at the ePortal and immediately forwarded to local record keeping systems for review and docketing. In this mode. applications to review the filings and forwarding accepted filings for docketing are handled by third party applications. In this mode, the ePortal handles the receiving part and the third party application handles the presentation part of the Filing Review MDE. Management activities the of Filing Review MDE are split between the ePortal and the party application

If the local record keeping system is down or otherwise not available, then any process that depends on the availability of the local record keeping system will not be available. Filings that are 'waiting to be filed' will continue to wait and the re-try mechanism will continue to re-try. Once the local record keeping system is back up, the filings are filed and notifications are sent.