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CLERK OF COURT & COMPTROLLER

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLORIDA

File without an Attorney (Pro Se)

A Self-Represented Litigant (Pro Se) is a person who appears in court without the assistance of a lawyer.

Effective in April 2019, the Clerk’s Office will begin electronically serving various court documents to Attorneys of Record and litigants registered for e-service through the Florida Court E-Filing Portal for all civil court cases.

Read the Florida Bar's "Pro Se Handbook:  Representing Yourself on Appeal" [external link] and the Florida Court's "Preparing for Court: Courtroom Expectations" [external link]

Pro Se FAQs

Where do I get the forms that I need to create a filing?

You can find the forms you need on our Forms page. You can also download a free app to your mobile device from the Florida Courts that contains help for people representing themselves in Family Law cases (divorce, adoption, orders of protection, name change, and other family law issues), including Court-approved family law forms that can be filled out on the device; links and contact information for help centers all around Florida; plain-language instructions and descriptions of first steps and next actions; links for a full range of legal help from multiple online resources, free and low-cost legal services, lawyer referrals and other information, including eligibility criteria; and user-friendly instructions for initial steps and pointers about what happens next.

How can I prepare a filing?

Paper form packets can be downloaded here. After completing the forms, you can e-File them through the FCCC ePortal, or visit us in person at any of our locations. You will need to identity which court division (East Division or Tampa Division) your case should be assigned. Use this free interactive tool to look up the division by the address.

If I don't know how to do this, can the Clerk help me?

Pursuant to Florida Statutes, the Clerk of Court shall provide ministerial assistance* (*procedural information needed to insure that litigants representing themselves -- "pro se" -- have meaningful access to the civil justice system). Assistance shall NOT include the providing of legal advice.

If you are a low income resident and you have questions that require legal advice, please see the FAQ on this page "Free/Reduced Cost Legal Advice for Low Income Residents".

You can also get free help by downloading a free app to your mobile device from the Florida Courts that contains help for people representing themselves in Family Law cases (divorce, adoption, orders of protection, name change, and other family law issues), including Court-approved family law forms that can be filled out on the device; links and contact information for help centers all around Florida; plain-language instructions and descriptions of first steps and next actions; links for a full range of legal help from multiple online resources, free and low-cost legal services, lawyer referrals and other information, including eligibility criteria; and user-friendly instructions for initial steps and pointers about what happens next.

Additional resources are available for pro se parties on the 13th Judicial Circuit Court's website [external website].

Free/Reduced Cost Legal Assistance for Low Income Residents

If you require legal assistance and are an eligible, low income resident, you may be able to get free or reduced cost legal assistance for certain non-criminal case types.

Bay Area Legal Services, Gulf Coast Legal Services and St. Michael's Legal Center for Women and Children, Inc. are non-profit agencies that may be able to assist you with legal questions regarding domestic violence, family law, foreclosure and senior advocacy.

Florida Free Legal Answers is an online service, available 24 hours a day, that provides free, brief, basic legal advice to low income residents. Help may include adoption, divorce, name changes, child support, domestic violence, bankruptcy, wills and estate planning.

How can I view my file?

You can view your case information through the Hillsborough Online Viewing of Electronic Records (HOVER). You can order certified copies of court records electronically 24/7 or non electronic certified copies by coming to or calling one of our service locations.

What are the fees and fines associated with this service?

See the Fees and Fines page for more information.