For Jacksonville lawyers, attorneys and legal professionals working at Florida law offices, it is important to be aware of Florida court rules. Email service is the subject of the new Florida Supreme Court opinion. Under the new rule 2.516, service must be made by email for most attorneys. There is a portion of the Supreme Court opinion at the end of this article.
Documents should be served by email beginning on September 1, 2012 for family lawyers in Jacksonville and Jacksonville divorce attorneys. Jacksonville foreclosure defense lawyers must file in compliance with the Florida civil rules of procedure, so Florida foreclosure filings must be served by email as of September 12th. The September email filing date applies to all Jacksonville lawyers for appeals and practicing in civil, probate, small claims, and family law courts.
For Jacksonville criminal lawyers, the Florida Criminal Rules of Procedure will not change until October 1, 2013. This October date applies to Jacksonville juvenile lawyers. If you handle Jacksonville traffic tickets or are a Florida speeding ticket lawyer, the email service requirement will not apply to you until this date. If you are a Jacksonville ticket lawyer, criminal attorney, or juvenile defense lawyer, you may choose to serve by email after September 1, 2012 and before October 1, 2013.
The FL Supreme Court Opinion Email Filing stated:
“New rule 2.516 provides that all documents required or permitted to be served on another party must be served by e-mail. Under subdivision (b)(1) (Service by Electronic Mail (e-mail)), upon appearing in a proceeding a lawyer must designate a primary e-mail address, and may designate up to two secondary e-mail addresses, for receiving service. Thereafter, service on the lawyer must be made by e-mail. The rule does permit several limited exceptions to this requirement. A lawyer may file a motion to be excused from e-mail service, demonstrating that he or she has no e-mail account and lacks access to the Internet at the lawyer’s office. Similarly, individuals who are not represented by an attorney may designate an e-mail address for service if they wish; however, pro se litigants are not required to use e-mail service. Additionally, applications for witness subpoenas and documents served by formal notice or required to be served in the manner provided for service of formal notice are not required to comply with rule 2.516.”
“Subdivision (b)(1) also includes provisions addressing the time and format for e-mail service. Service by e-mail is deemed complete when the e-mail is sent. Additionally, e-mail service is made by attaching a copy of the document to be served in PDF format to an e-mail. The e-mail must contain the subject line ―SERVICE OF COURT DOCUMENT‖ in all capital letters, followed by the case number of the relevant proceeding. The body of the e-mail must identify the court in which the proceeding is pending, the case number, the name of the initial party on each side, the title of each document served with that e-mail, and the sender’s name and telephone number. The e-mail and attachments together may not exceed 5 megabytes in size; e-mails that exceed the size requirement must be divided into separate e-mails (no one of which may exceed 5 megabytes) and labeled sequentially in the subject line.”
“As noted, the other subdivisions in rule 2.516 closely track the language in rule 1.080, modified to reflect the move to e-mail service.”
“First, e-mail service will be mandatory for attorneys practicing in the civil, probate, small claims, and family law divisions of the trial courts, as well as in all appellate cases, when the rule amendments take effect on September 1, 2012. Second, when the rules take effect on September 1, attorneys practicing in the criminal, traffic, and juvenile divisions of the trial court may voluntarily choose to serve documents by e-mail under the new procedures, or they may continue to operate under the existing rules. E-mail service will be mandatory for attorneys practicing in these divisions on October 1, 2013, at 12:01 a.m. (the date on which electronic filing will be mandatory in these divisions).”
“Self-represented parties involved in any type of case in any Florida court, may, but are not required to, serve documents by e-mail. Attorneys excused from e-mail service are also not obligated to comply with the new e-mail service requirements.”