Florida Statute Chapter 119 mandates that “all state, county, and municipal records” be made available for viewing and copying by the public. 119.01(e) adds that agencies should make an effort to efficiently provide remote electronic access to the information. As such, there are a variety of state operated websites which provide access to many records. However, if you are looking specifically for court records, one of the best resources is the Florida Supreme Court’s website. The site has a link to a page called Public Information where you can access court records including court docket information, court orders, and even a detailed listing of high profile cases in Florida.
It should be noted, however, that one exception to Chapter 119 includes adoption records. Rule 63.162 provides that in Florida, adoption records and any court records pertaining to an adoption proceeding are confidential. Thus adoption records will not be available for inspection unless the court finds good cause for disclosing the contents of the adoption records to the parties affected by the adoption. Also, if the adoption parties consent, under rule 63.165, they may enter their contact information into a registry and authorize their information to be released to specific parties. For example, a biological parent can choose to have their contact information release to their adopted child. The parties permitted to potentially access this information include the adoptee, the birth parents, birth siblings, and maternal and paternal birth grandparents of the adoptee. The registry is maintained by Florida’s Reunion Adoption Registry (FARR).