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Tampa Bay Clerks of Court Return to Regular Service Hours

Thanks to a 7% increase in the budget for Florida clerks of the court, Tampa area clerks will increase their hours beginning October 1, 2012.  According to the Tampa Bay Times, the seven percent increase restores the amount that was cut from the statewide clerk budget in the spring, when office hour were reduced.

These extended office hours will allow Tampa Bay clerks to tackle the current backlog and hopefully help family law cases to be processed faster.

The local clerks’ new office hours (Monday through Friday, excluding holidays) are listed below:

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Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court Cuts Hours

Due to budget cuts, the Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court is reducing the hours it will handle court-related services.  Beginning July 1, 2012, the hours were cut to 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  This will affect the filing and processing of family law (i.e., adoption, divorce, paternity, child support, child custody, name change, etc.) documents.

If you have a Tampa family law case and you wish to scheduled a consultation with a Florida family law attorney, contact The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our online form.

Florida Clerks of the Court Face Budget Cuts

Florida clerks of the court, like other government agencies, are facing severe budget cuts. Statewide, Clerks of the Court budgets are being slashed by $31 million.  Locally, the Pasco clerk is facing a $825,000 million budge cut, while the Hillsborough clerk is trying to find a way to cope with a haircut in the order of $2 million.

As a result, you can expect a slowdown in the services provided by an already overwhelmed clerk, including the processing of divorce and other family law matters.

The Pasco clerk has published the following notice on its website:

Plasco Clerk Cuts Customer Service Hours

If you have questions regarding Florida divorce and you wish to schedule a consultation with a Tampa Bay family law attorney, contact The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or via our online consultation form.

Hillsborough Clerk Provides Update to e-Filing Status

I’ve recently been writing about e-Filing in Tampa Bay Family Law cases.  Many attorneys, like myself, are pushing for swift and comprehensive implementation of e-Filing (the option of filing documents electronically through the internet rather than sending a paper copy to the physical location of the clerk of the court) because, as I wrote in a previous post regarding the related concept of a “paperless office,”

money is saved on paper and postage; space is saved from bulky file cabinets; trees are saved from being cut down; and time is saved by quick transmittal of documents via e-mail.  This usually also translates to savings for the customer or client.

It looks like Hillsborough County is targeting July 2012 to implement e-Filing for family law cases.  From the Hillsborough Clerk of the Court:

 In 2009, the Florida Legislature enacted Chapter 2009-61, Laws of Florida, mandating that the Supreme Court of Florida create statewide standards for electronic filing of court documents.  Governor Charlie Crist signed the bill into law.  On July 1 of that year, the Florida Supreme Court responded with Supreme Court Administrative Order 09-30, which outlined the first set of statewide standards for electronic filing of court documents.  One of the standards required that a portal be created through which electronically filed court documents could be sent.  The standards are outlined for all 67 Clerks of Court in the State of Florida to follow to implement electronic filing of court documents.

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Tampa Bay Clerks of the Court Slow to Implement e-Filing

You may have heard of the term “paperless office,” where documents are stored on networks and hard drives rather than in physical drawers and filing cabinets.  The advantages of the paperless office over traditional means of storing documents include the following: money is saved on paper and postage; space is saved from bulky file cabinets; trees are saved from being cut down; and time is saved by quick transmittal of documents via e-mail.  This usually also translates to savings for the customer or client.

Well, the Florida Courts have set their sights on a paperless court system.  This starts out with e-filing (the filing of documents via the internet rather than dropping off paper copies).  e-Filing began through Florida’s e-Filing Portal in January 2012, and the clerks of the Court have set a goal to have all counties accepting e-filing for their civil (non-criminal) divisions through the Portal by July 1, 2012.

Many counties have been quick to implement e-filing through the Portal.  In fact, according to a presentation provided at the February 1, 2012, e-Filing Authority Board Meeting, 41 counties now accept at least some filing electronically through the portal.  Polk County is included in these counties, though it does not yet accept e-filing for family law cases.

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Steps for Paying Florida Child Support Online – One Time Payments

The folks at the Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court have made a pamphlet available explaining how to make one time child support payments online.  Below you will find the steps:

  1. Go to www.myfloridacounty.com;
  2. Click on “Pay Child Support & View Payment History;”
  3. Click “Pay Child Support Online;”
  4. On the “Add Case” screen, enter the Case Number to which the payment is being applied.  If making payments on multiple cases, each case should be added before proceeding to the next screen.  You have two options to enter the Case Number:  Read more

New Location for Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court in Plant City

The Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court in Plant City – formerly located at 302 North Michigan Avenue, Plant City, Florida 33563 – will open up its doors at a new location on November 14, 2011.  The address of the new office is as follows:

301 North Michigan Avenue
Room 1071
Plant City, Florida 33563
 

You can view the announcement flier here.

Video: What does the Clerk of the Court do?

Have you ever wondered what the clerk of the court does?  The following video from the Florida Association of Court Clerks describes the clerk’s role:

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