Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is Court Records Inquiry?
A. Formerly known as Court Records Online (CRO), Court Records Inquiry is a website where the community has access to case related data and images based upon AOSC16-14, CRI is compatible with mobile devices and tablets.
Q. Who will have access to the Court Records Inquiry?
A. All users, including court staff, agency partners, attorneys, media and the general public. Please view the Access Security Matrix for more information.
Q. How do you register in Court Records Inquiry?
A. To register please visit our website by clicking here. You will be required to complete a registration form that must be notarized and returned to the Technology Support Department in person or via US mail. Once the Technology Support Department receives the completed registration form, you will receive a confirmation email to your registered email address, and you will be able to log in. If you are a defendant, plaintiff, or other case party requesting increased access to a case, a request for each case will need to be submitted for Clerk review.
Q. Will there be an additional cost associated with online access to court records using this system?
A. No. There are no fees to access and view the court records remotely.
Q. What are the user groups?
A. Access to electronic court records is determined by the user’s role and applicable statutes, rules, and administrative policy. Access may be restricted to certain user groups based on case type, document type, or information contained within records. All individuals and entities authorized under these standards to have greater access than the general public must establish policies to protect confidential records and information in accordance with applicable rule and statutory requirements. Remote electronic access may be more restrictive than clerk in-house electronic access. Florida law provides that limited Internet access shall be given to certain cases and images for Adoptions, Dependency, Delinquency, Mental Health, Probate, Guardianship, and Domestic Relations cases. For more information on the user groups, please click here to be redirected to the Florida Supreme Court website.
Q. Why do I have access to certain cases and documents, but not others?
A. The Florida Supreme Court has determined the appropriate level of access for each category of user. These access levels are in accordance with legal statutes that protect confidential information. The Clerk is required to comply with these access levels and uses certain security protocols to protect confidential information and documents.
Q. Can I view un-redacted documents online?
A. No, in order to protect confidential information, such as account information, social security numbers, victim information, etc., only redacted documents are available online. In order to receive un-redacted copies of documents, you must go to the courthouse and present a state-issued identification.
Q. Why are there some docket items listed without an associated document?
A. The Lee County Clerk of Courts began electronically scanning documents in the early 2000’s. Documents prior to this date may not be available in electronic form at this time. Because of this conversion process, a case may contain docket entries listing a microfilm number, meaning this is a document that must be ordered through the Records Request Tracking System (RRTS). Additionally, some of the clerk’s dockets contain informational entries that do not always correlate to a filed document or pleading.
Q. I don’t know my case number. How do I obtain the case number so I can register for access as a case party?
A. From the home page, click ‘Records Search’ and enter the search criteria to locate your case. The case number is located in the leftmost column of the search results or in the very top header of the case information page. The case number format should be YY-XX-999999, where YY is the case year and XX is the case type. Please note: For certain sensitive case types, such as adoptions, the system will not return a case number, even when relevant search criteria are entered. For these cases, the case number can only be obtained in-person, at any of the Clerk’s locations, upon successful verification of a state-issued identification.
Q. Why are certain documents not immediately available to view?
A. For certain sensitive cases, such as those involving sex crimes or abuse, the documents must be manually redacted in order to protect confidential information that cannot be detected by automated software. These are considered Viewable on Request or VOR documents and they will display an icon. These documents can be requested by following the instructions on the case details screen. Every effort will be made by the Lee County Clerk of Courts to make the requested document(s) available within 2-5 business days from the request date. Please note that this may take longer for larger documents, or documents containing higher amounts of confidential data. The Clerk will pre-redact the most commonly requested filings to minimize the VOR impact to the community. Once a request has been submitted, it will not have to be reviewed for redaction again. The icon will change to once a request has been made.
Q. I am an attorney and need increased access to my cases. How do I obtain this?
A. You may register online as an attorney to gain additional access to all cases on which you are an attorney of record. You will be required to complete an affidavit that must be notarized and returned to the Lee County Clerk of Courts, either by mail or in-person at any of the Clerk’s locations. Upon successful validation of your request, you will receive an email confirming your account activation. Please note: Attorney access to cases is dependent on current standing with the Florida Bar Association, which the Lee County Clerk of Courts verifies daily. Access to a case is also dependent on whether the requestor is an Attorney of Record. If you are not validated as being in good standing, you will be prevented from logging in to the Court Records Inquiry.
Q. I forgot my password. How can I reset it?
A. On the login screen, click ‘Forgot password? Click here to reset’ and enter your registered email address. You will receive an email with a link to reset your password. If you are a case party or attorney and require technical assistance, please call 239-533-5000 and we will transfer your call to our Innovation & Technology services department.
Q. Can I request certified copies of documents through the Court Records Inquiry?
A. No, certified copies cannot be requested through the site and must be obtained through our Records Request Tracking System (RRTS).
Q. There is a document on my case that I feel should not be available for viewing by the general public. How do I remove this document from public viewing?
A. Certain documents are covered by confidentiality rules – pursuant to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420 - that restrict them from public viewing. These confidentiality rules also cover certain information within public documents, such as Social Security number, bank account numbers, etc. However, there are also documents that do not fall under confidentiality rules, but may still contain sensitive information, for instance, details about a party’s current financial situation. If you feel a document or information within a document is publicly displayed in error, please contact us via the Records Request Tracking System (RRTS). If you feel a document should be made confidential due to the information it contains, please file the appropriate document seeking that relief from the court, or obtain legal advice.
Q. I am attempting to view a document, but it loads very slowly or not at all. What do I need to do to view the document?
A. The Clerk recommends the Internet Explorer platform for the Court Inquiry site. However, in some browser versions it may be necessary to refresh the document page, or you can attempt to reload the document. If the problem persists, please contact our office at 239-533-5000 and we will forward you to our Technology Service Department.
Q. What should I do if I see confidential information online that has not been redacted?
A. The Clerk’s Office places the highest priority on the security of confidential information. If you find that confidential information has not been redacted, please contact us immediately through our Call Center at 239-533-5000, or by contacting us via our Records Request Tracking System (RRTS). We will work to correct the issue as quickly as possible and notify you when it has been completed.
The Clerk is required to redact confidential information on documents filed after Jan 1, 2012. Florida Statute 119.0714(2)(d) states that the custodian of records “must use his or her best efforts to redact all Social Security numbers and bank account, debit, charge, or credit card numbers from electronic copies of the official record. The use of an automated program for redaction is deemed to be the best effort in performing the redaction…”
Information deemed to be confidential according to rule 2.420:
Information that is not confidential includes:
For more information on public access to court records, review F.S. 119.0714 and Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420.
Q. My agency needs access beyond that available to the general public. How do I get my agency set up for expanded access?
A. We encourage you to first try using the Court Records Inquiry to search for records and documents as a general public user. If you find that you cannot view the documents that you need online and/or you were able to obtain them at the courthouse, please call our Call Center at 239-533-5000 or contact us via our Records Request Tracking System (RRTS). When you contact us, please identify the specific case that you are attempting to view online. We will confirm what you are eligible to view online and work with you on the next steps.