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Portal authority works to address e-service issues.

Lawyers have been reporting problems both sending and receiving files when they e-serve documents though the Internet portal that provides electronic filing and electronic service for Florida courts.

The portal's latest upgrade, installed at the end of March, automatically places an alert beside any email address on a service list if the portal attempted to serve a document at that address and it bounced back, or failed at least once.

Each case now shows a list of all lawyers who have filed at least one document in the case, along with an email address for e-service.

It is the responsibility of the lawyer filing a document to ensure that all appropriate parties are served. If the filer uses e-service and, for some reason, a party does not receive an electronic copy, it is up to the filer to serve the document by an alternative method in compliance with Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516.

The March upgrade offered a new service wherein email addresses that have failed once are designated in the Email Status column with a yellow caution symbol --the "bounce-back" icon. Clicking on the word "Info" beside the symbol allows the filer access to a screen to see the date, time, and on what cases the email failed, thereby alerting users that there has been a problem with that address. However, lawyers can bypass that notice and attempt further service to that email address.

Attorneys who are not receiving email notifications, e-service emails, or have a bounce-back icon located on the e-service screen need to troubleshoot their own email service.

If the filer has received a "bounce-back" email notification, this means that the portal attempted to send the notification of e-service but was unsuccessful. Remember that the "bounce-back" icon is a notation that the email has failed at least once. It is just a warning that the e-service email may not go to the listed recipient. This can be a result of several different scenarios. If lawyers choose to send an email with the "bounce-back" icon, they must check the "Serve" box, as it will not automatically be selected when an email address has been deemed as a bounce back.

A filer can reset the email address if the address looks correct. When "Reset," is selected the email address will be removed from the bounce-back database.

To remove the "bounce-back" icon on an email address that was added by a filer to a service list, the filer will need to log onto his or her portal account and access the "My Cases" page. Select the "Court Case #", that will open the e-service list. Click "Info" next to the alert icon on the email address in question. Then click "Reset."

Lawyers also may reset an email address during the filing process. Click on "File Now" on any case on the list showing the bounce back email address on the e-service list. Once it opens, click the "Service List" tab. Then, click on "Info" to bring up the reset screen. The email address can be changed there if necessary. If not, just click "Reset." Make sure to exit the screen and access it again to see that the icon is removed.

However, if that same email address bounces again, the "bounce-back" alert will be received again.

If the filer is having trouble sending or receiving an e-service document, here are some recommendations:

* Users will need to ensure that the email addresses on the e-service list are valid. That means contacting the attorney whose email bounced back to verify the correct address.

* If the email address used by a filer who is getting the "bounce back" icon is valid, it is possible that the email provider/post master is blocking messages from the portal because their electronic filters are designating them as spam.

The "owner" of the email address must check with his or her email provider to ensure that the following email addresses are not being blocked or marked as spam: and noreply@

It is not uncommon for spam filters to block email with "noreply" as part of the electronic address.

If no one in the firm is receiving e-service, pass this information on to the email administrator or IT staff. If the filer's email address is with AOL, they have at times "blacklisted" the portal email addresses in an attempt to protect the user from spam.

Contact AOL to let the service know that email from that address needs to be received and, more specifically, from the domain Verify with your email provider that the portal's email addresses are "whitelisted," or not blocked, with the email provider.

The Florida Courts E-Filing Portal contains an approved method for lawyers to provide e-service. However, they are not required to use this method for service. In the event the filer elects to serve parties via the portal or allow it to do so, keep the following information in mind:

If names of persons entitled to service are not on the portal's service list, the filer can add them in the "Other Attorneys/Interested Party" section, or may choose to otherwise serve them in compliance with Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516.


* If service is provided through the portal's e-service feature, check the names that appear on the "e-Service Recipient List" to ensure that all persons entitled to be served are included. Add anyone to be served who is not on the e-Service Recipient List in the Other Attorney/Interested Party section of the e-service page.

* If notice is received that the email address for one of the names added to the e-service recipient's list was undeliverable, do the following: Ensure the email address is typed correctly, and notify the person who was not served that her or his email address needs to be corrected, if the recipient's email address was selected from the "Search Registered Users" list or "Search FL Bar" list.

* Be sure that the people selected from Search Registered Users or Search FL Bar are the correct recipients. The recipient may have to be contacted separately to ensure the information is correct.

For general information on the new e-service feature, refer to the E-Service User Guide posted under the E-Filing Portal Help/Training Manuals tab, www. Manuals/Updated_E-Service_User_Guide_ April_2014.pdf.

If all of these steps are completed and email continues to be unreceived, contact support[R] for further assistance.

This report was compiled by the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers and edited by the Bar News.
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Publication:Florida Bar News
Date:May 15, 2014
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