Changes Come to Confidentiality of Florida Court Filings

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As the judicial branch

transitions toward

acquiring, maintaining,

and distributing court records

electronically, the Supreme

Court of Florida has viewed

the confidentiality of a narrow

set of records as a “necessary

prerequisite” to giving the

public electronic access to

court records.

Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420

now applies to all documents filed in

all state courts in Florida by

all parties, from small claims

to appellate cases. The goal of

the amendments is to balance

the public’s constitutional

right to access to court records

with the courts’ responsibility

to protect from public access

those court records that are

truly confidential.

Lawyers have the principal

duty to protect court files in

Florida, and they can be held

accountable if they do not.9

Although the Clerks of Court

retain certain responsibili-

ties with respect to receiving,

maintaining and giving access

to court records, that is not ex-

pected to reduce or change the

lawyer’s separate and indepen-

dent obligations...

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