Public Records Requests
Sunshine Review Act
Florida has the most expansive open government laws in the country. Open government law has proceeded on three different, but related, tracks: statutory public records, statutory public meetings, and judicial access decisional law. Florida public records law is codified at F.S.119.01 to 119.15 (1995). The open meeting statute is commonly called the Florida Sunshine Law, and is codified at F.S. 286.011 to 286.012 (1991). Both open government statutes have been broadly construed by the judiciary and the Florida attorney general's office, and reflect a comprehensive policy of open government. Access to judicial records and proceedings has similarly been broadly granted by Florida courts. Exemptions to the Sunshine Law are not nearly as numerous as exemptions to the public records law. The Sunshine Review Act also applies to the open meeting statute; thus , exemptions to open meeting requirements are reviewed in the same manner as discussed above in reference to open records exemptions. F.S. 286.0111 (1995).
Public Records are documents sent to, generated or received by the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller. Many records are available to anyone who asks. Sometimes a document or file will contain information that is exempt from public disclosure or contains confidential information.
According to state law, all state, county, and municipal non-exempt records are open for personal inspection and copying by any person.
If the nature or volume of the public records request to be inspected or copied requires extensive use of information technology resources or extensive clerical or personnel assistance to fulfill, the Clerk may charge the requestor the associated cost, in addition to the actual cost of any duplication. In an extensive use situation, you may be asked to pay a portion of the estimated costs prior to the request being filled and the remainder of the cost shall be due upon the records being made available.
Many records maintained by the Clerk's office may be accessed via the web.