Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers is celebrating “Sunshine Week” by spreading the word on how Floridians can find or request public records.
Sunshine Week is an annual event launched in 2005 by the News Leaders Association, which bills it as a “celebration of access to public information.” This year, it is being held March 13-19.
“Clerks of Court are excited to celebrate Sunshine Week and highlight the instrumental role we play in supporting transparency in county government and the court system,” said Manatee County Clerk and Comptroller and FCCC President Angelina “Angel” Colonneso, Esq.
“As records custodians, and toward our shared vision of being premiere models of exceptional government, we are constantly looking at ways to improve access to records with new technologies and provide exceptional customer service. This Sunshine Week, I encourage you to learn about the records we provide and how to view and request information you may be interested in.”
Clay County Clerk of Court and Comptroller and immediate past FCCC President Tara Green added, “As Clerks of Court, one of our highest priorities is ensuring access to public records and promoting government accountability.
“Whether you are asking for a copy of your marriage license at the courthouse or going online to view records for a legal case, Clerks of Court are constantly evaluating these processes for improvements that promote transparency. We are once again thrilled to highlight our commitment to accurate record keeping, public information access and security, and government in the sunshine during the 2022 Sunshine Week.”
Florida Clerks noted that county Clerks of Court provide citizens access to public documents such as court records, ensure access to county financial information, offer fraud services for the public to shed light on allegations of fraud and waste, and enhance access to public information by harnessing new technologies to provide more official documents and services online.
The organization also offered a handful of tips for Floridians who make public records requests.
First, Florida Clerks recommends searching online records to see if the needed records are already available.
Second, reaching out to an office to get contact information for their public records liaison can help in getting records requests filled more quickly. Liaisons can also answer questions if a requester doesn’t know exactly what they are looking for.
Florida Clerks also recommends requests be precise — broad requests can take longer to complete and narrow ones may not include the specific information being sought.
More information is available on the Florida Clerks website.