In the Fifth Judicial Circuit, the General Counsel responds to written requests for copies of records of the judicial branch. In Florida, access to such records is governed by Article 1, Section 24, The Florida Constitution, and Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420.
The courts are not custodians of case files, which contain the official court papers for court cases and document the proceedings and results of court cases. Case files are maintained by clerks of court, and requests for copies of records contained in case files should be directed to the clerk in the county where the court proceeding took place.
The “official record” does not include CDs, DVDs, tapes, any other electronic record, or a written account of court proceedings produced by an unauthorized party or other entity. Click here for information on ordering electronic recordings of court proceedings.
When the General Counsel receives a written request for a record maintained in the Fifth Judicial Circuit, the Court does appropriate research to determine:
- If records exist that are within the parameters of the request;
- If there is exempt information in the requested records that would have to be redacted prior to providing the requested copies;
- Once a determination has been made about points one and two above, the General Counsel provides a written estimate of the Court’s cost to fulfill the request. Rule 2.420 allows recovery of that cost from the party initiating the request.
All public records requests must be made in writing and should be directed to the Office of the General Counsel:
Grace A. Fagan, Esq.
Lake County Judicial Center
P.O. Box 7800
Tavares, FL 32778-7800