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Frequently Asked Questions: Filing

  • How do I file a sealed document?

    You may not file a document under seal without first obtaining a court order granting a motion for leave to file under seal. Any document you want to file under seal must comply with Local Rules and the Federal Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure. You should clearly mark a document to be filed under seal, so it is easily identifiable as a sealed document. Because of the public nature of Intake, you should present sealed documents for filing in an envelope and should not place them in the dropbox.

  • How many copies of a pleading do I need to file?

    This court only requires a party to file the original pleading, motion, memorandum, or other document. And, with a few exceptions, a lawyer may now electronically file the original pleading, motion, memorandum, or other document. You may send courtesy copies to the assigned judge, but they are unnecessary unless the judge requires them. If you want a time-stamped copy to be returned to you, you must include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for this purpose. Copies may not be returned to you otherwise. Local Rule 3.03 prohibits filing discovery material.

  • Do you accept electronic filings, faxes, or copies?

    If you are lawyer in a civil or criminal case, you must electronically file all documents except a document the court has permitted you to file under seal or ex parte. A lawyer may, but does not have to, file the original pleading motion, memorandum, or other document in person. For more information, see the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Administrative Procedures for Electronic Filing in Civil and Criminal Cases. If you are not a lawyer, you may file original paper documents. The court does not accept facsimiles and copies for filing.

  • What mistakes should I avoid in filing a document?
    • Filing a document in the wrong division or court.
    • Filing a district-court document with a state or bankruptcy court.
    • Filing a document without an original signature.
    • Filing a document without a complete or correct case number or case style at the top.
    • Filing a copy of a document instead of the original.
    • Faxing a document to the clerk of court.
    • Filing a document without a complete address and telephone number for the filing party.
    • Filing an emergency pleading or motion in the dropbox.
    • Filing a document with a long or confusing title or no title.
    • Filing separate documents attached, stapled, or bound.
    • Filing a document with exhibit tabs protruding beyond the normal page width.
    • Filing a document with individually stapled exhibits.
    • Filing a document with a loose page or exhibit.
    • Filing a document with paper size, font size, or margins not in compliance with Local Rule 1.05(a).
    • Filing a civil action or removal action without the civil cover sheet.
    • Filing a document without paying the filing fees or applying to proceed without pre-paying them.