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Legal Assistance for You

  I attended a meeting, of the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice on Friday, May 15.   One major concern of this Commission is that so many Floridians cannot afford legal representation.  The statistics are truly frightening.   According to the Commission, “a large number of moderate income people are effectively excluded economically from access to justice because they cannot afford to hire a lawyer and they do not qualify for legal aid.”

     Yet many people find themselves facing situations which require legal assistance.  According to a recent survey, 74 percent of Americans dealt with one or more legal life events in the past 12 months.
     As the Clerk of the Circuit Court, my office is limited in what we can do legally to assist customers.  We cannot give any legal advice and are explicitly barred by the Florida Supreme Court from doing so.

     But we have taken some important steps to make it easier for you to navigate the Courts.   One major step is the consolidation of our Civil Court Customer Service into one central location – Room 101 of the Edgecomb Courthouse, located behind the main entry point.  Where you previously had to visit three separate locations for your Civil Court business, you can now go to this one area for Circuit, County Civil and Family Law requests, including access to Court records.  You may also pay for copies of pleadings in Room 101.