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Florida Bar Character and Fitness Information Resources

Florida Civil & Family Court Records

Personal Litigation, Questions 16a, 16b, 16c, 16e, 16f, 16g, and 16i

To search for civil and family records in any state, you will need to know the jurisdiction to search the individual clerk websites for docket information.

This listing for all Florida counties provides the street address and phone numbers for all Florida Clerk of the County Courts Offices. If you need a birth certificate, marriage certificate, dissolution of marriage certificate or even a death certificate, contact the CDC Vital Statistics to request these records.

Keep in mind that the Florida Bar asks several questions related to information that is discoverable through civil and family court dockets, in addition to public records searches. Information retrieved may be valuable to responding to more than one question.

Obtaining Civil Court Records, Generally

Civil Court Records, Questions 5, 14c, 16a - i, 17, and 18

This page is intended to assist you in obtaining civil court documents since you will have to attach some of those documents to your submission to the Board. Other documents will have information that you need to complete your Florida Bar Character and Fitness application, even if the document itself is not required. You may need to obtain copies of support orders, financial affidavits submitted to a court, judgments, liens, satisfaction or release of judgments or liens, civil complaints, civil counterclaims, docket sheets, orders of dismissal, final judgments, or other documents.

You must provide all documents specifically requested in the questions. If your job required that you be listed in court documents (e.g., social worker), provide a docket sheet of these documents to the Board of Bar Examiners well ahead of the deadline. They will highlight the court documents they need you to submit in their entirety.

Once you have all the court documents that both you and your attorney can produce, you will need to request the remainder from the court. Find the court's website. Use the link in the box above if you are looking for a Florida court. Use the National Center for State Courts for courts in other states. If those two methods do not provide quick results, a web search for the county name and court records will likely pan out.

If the Clerk's Office web page does not allow document views of pleadings, you will typically be charged a per page fee for document copies, as well as any postage. If the website does not give this information, use the contact information for the office of the Clerk of Court, and write or call to ask how you may obtain the court documents you need and their cost.

Keep records of all contacts and correspondence to demonstrate your diligence in complying with a Board document request.

Litigation - Administrative Proceedings

Personal Litigation, Question 16h

Question 16 and its sub-parts request disclosure of all civil litigation in which you have been a party. The information above advises you of sources for general civil court records.

Question 16(h) includes administrative proceedings such as workman’s compensation or unemployment compensation decisions. Read the question carefully to make sure that you account for all requested types of actions.

There are wide variations between the states in the availability of administrative proceeding records. In a few states the records are not available to the public. In other states, it can take two to three weeks to obtain a record. In some states there are special requirements before obtaining the records, such as a notarized release. Be certain to contact the relevant agency as soon as you can to find out how you can obtain any requested record that is not in your possession.

Florida Clerks of Courts Listing - other counties

This listing for all Florida counties provides the street address and phone numbers for all Florida Clerk of the County Courts Offices.