Public Access Frequently Asked Questions

Public Access and Research Frequently Asked Questions
1) How much does a copy cost?

As set forth in Chapter 28, Florida Statutes, copies of the record are to be provided only upon payment of a fee prescribed by law: document (8 1/2"x 11") fee is $1.00 per page, certification fee $2.00 per certification, record search fee $2.00 per year searched if the case number is not provided, Certificate of Clerk is $7.00, and document (18"x 24") fee is $5.00 per page. Documents will be sanitized of confidential information such as, but not limited to, the social security number.

2) How much does an exemplified/authencitated copy cost?

As set forth in Chapter 28, Florida Statutes, copies of the record are to be provided only upon payment of a fee prescribed by law: document (8 1/2"x 11") fee is $1.00 per page, certificate of clerk fee (document preparation fee) $7.00, certificate of court (document preparation fee) $7.00.  Documents will be sanitized of confidential information such as, but not limited to, the social security number.

3) Can I get a copy of the plat map to my subdivision at the Courthouse?

Visit the section of our web site called PLAT SEARCH to view your plat on-line. You can also get a copy at the Courthouse.

4) Can I do a criminal background check in this office?

No, the Clerk’s office does not have access to statewide records. The clerk can assist with Manatee County records only. See the list below for assistance concerning criminal background checks.

Countywide criminal background
Countywide background checks can be obtained in person, or by mail.

To request the information in person, come to the Records Section located at:
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office
Records Section
600 301 Boulevard West, Suite 202
Bradenton, Florida 34205
Office Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 6:30 pm
Closed Weekends and Holidays

To request the information by mail, write to:
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office
Records Section
600 301 Boulevard West, Suite 202
Bradenton, Florida 34205

Statewide criminal background checks
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
User Services Bureau Criminal History Services
P O Box 1489 Tallahassee, FL 32302
850 - 410 – 8109
www.fdle.state.fl.us

Nationwide criminal background checks
FBI CJIS Division – Record Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306
304 - 625 – 3878
www.fbi.gov

5) I would like to email my request. What is your email address?

Our email address is clerkscopycenter@manateeclerk.com. After receiving your request, a clerk will correspond in a timely manner.

6) What document images are not available online?

Many statutes and court orders govern the availability of records. Generally access to records through the website can be grouped as follows:

  • (Viewable) - Public Records – Records open for public viewing

  • (Viewable on Request) - Records which have a higher probability for sensitive information and require manual review prior to release for public viewing

  • (Confidential) - Non-Public Records – Records (which may be entire cases or specific documents) which are not available for public viewing
    Specifically, there are several exceptions for records access online that are available at the Clerk’s office.

These include some family law cases, probate cases, military discharges, and death certificates. FS 28.2221(5)(a)

7) How come the SSN, etc. has a black line through it?

Information that is exempt from public records is redacted from documents; the primary method for redaction is to conceal the information resulting in the “blackout” appearance on the document.

8) If I come into the courthouse, is it possible to see the SSN, etc. on the Clerk’s computers (Public Access)?

No. The clerk must keep social security numbers, bank account, debit, charge, and credit card numbers confidential and exempt from the public viewing. F.S. 119.0714

9) How come I can’t see the paper file?

Since 2001, court records have been captured and maintained as electronic images. The electronic systems have complex rules which provide security based on case type, document type, statutory requirements, and specific court direction. Statutory required redactions and security requirements are managed efficiently through our electronic records systems. In order to protect the security of limited access records, the use of paper file records is kept to a minimum.

10) Do I have to give my name or tell you why I want to look at a file?

Anyone may view a public record without providing information on who they are or why they wish to view the record. Certain non-public records have limited access as provided by statutes or court orders and may require identification to confirm an individual’s interest and authority to view the record. Non-public records will be maintained without public access.

11) When will I be able to see all the images?

Only public images or images that have been redacted to protect non-public information will be available online while others will have limited access. Publicly available images are processed, identified, and have security applied prior to release for viewing. The viewing of publicly available images varies due to the complexities of the statutes, rules, and court decisions related to public records and exemptions.

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