Requesting Capital Postconviction Public Records
- 1. How do I contact the Repository to request records?
- We are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for state holidays.
- You can request records by mail, email or fax.
- You may request records by phone, but we ask that you send written confirmation so we can provide the records you are requesting.
Capital Collateral Postconviction Records Repository
State Archives of Florida
R.A. Gray Building, MS 9-E
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0250
Phone: 850.245.6700, Option 4
- 2. How do I know what records regarding my client are available at the Repository?
You can contact the Repository to inquire as to what records are available.
Search the Online Catalog
You can also search the Florida State Archives Online Catalog.
- In the "Level of detail of search" pull-down menu, select "Container/File Unit."
- In the "Keyword" text box, type the name of your client in quotes, last name first, e.g., "doe, john."
- On the "Archives Database Collection Search Results Page" screen, look for records that do not have information in the File Unit area; these are boxes containing records on your client (e.g. 00723 = box 723, while 00723.00013 = box 723, folder 13).
- To see more information on a particular box (represented by a record with no information in the File Unit area), click on the result number for that box.
- To see the full folder listing for that box, click on the folder symbol to the left of the File Unit area.
You can continue to check the online catalog and/or contact the Repository directly as often as you like to determine if new records are available.
- 3. Is there a particular request form I should use?
No. Just be sure to include the:
- Full name of your client.
- Federal Express, UPS or other account number so we can ship you the materials.
- Shipping address (a physical address, not a P.O. Box).
- Your telephone number.
If you require a copy of the Supreme Court Record on Appeal, please specify that in your request and provide us with the Supreme Court case number (NOT the Circuit Court case number.)
Forms and Format of Capital Postconviction Records
- 4. I understand that capital postconviction records are provided to attorneys on compact disk. Are there any special requirements for reading the material from the disk, or copying the material from the disk?
You can read the disks on any computer equipped with a CD drive, running Windows 95 or above.
- A printer connection will also allow printing from the disks.
- Viewing software embedded in each disk provides you with a number of viewing capabilities, including:
- Paging through the entire disk.
- Selecting particular boxes or folders from the disk index to view.
- Viewing documents using tools such as zoom in/zoom out.
- Printing selected pages, folders, boxes, or the entire contents of the disk.
Disks consists of image files (TIFF, or tag-based image file format), not text files, so that data on the scanned documents cannot be manipulated.
Each disk includes a simple one-time-only self-install program. If you have any trouble at all with installation, the disk insert includes a contact telephone number to call for assistance.
- 5. Can I obtain hard copies of the materials instead of the disk?
Yes. While our routine practice is to scan the materials to disk, if you specifically request hard copy we will provide that instead of the disk.
In general, the larger the quantity of materials to be duplicated, the more time and space savings you realize having the materials scanned.
For your convenience, we will always send you a hard copy of the index (container/folder listing) included on the disk. This index lists the general content of each box and folder of records regarding your client.
Please note: the Supreme Court Record on Appeal is provided in hard copy only, and only upon specific request.
- 6. How do I obtain audio and video tapes that might be included in the materials sent to the Repository by various agencies?
You do not need to make a special request for these materials; all records in our files will be copied and provided to you regardless of format.
The Repository duplicates and sends you any materials that can't be scanned (audio tapes, video tapes, color images, oversized documents) in our custody as part of the process of copying and providing you with the records.
- 7. I would like to obtain the public records on multiple co-defendants. Do I have to make individual requests on each of those defendants or can I include them in the initial request?
You do not need to make individual requests, as long as you provide us with all the necessary information regarding what records you require for each defendant.
If you will require copies of any records received by the Repository for those co-defendants subsequent to your request, please specify that in your request. However, we will automatically copy and ship to you any additional records we receive regarding your client.
- 8. How long will it take to receive the records I request?
We begin processing requests immediately upon receipt in the order they are received.
Normally we can complete the duplication and ship out the copies in less than two weeks from the date the request was received.
Often, the order will be completed in 3-4 business days (not including shipping time).
If there are several requests preceding yours, or if your request involves a large quantity of records, a longer turnaround time might be expected.
If you require a short turnaround time to meet a specific, imminent deadline, please specify that in your request and we will make every effort to provide you with the records as quickly as possible.
- 9. What if I am not satisfied with the quality of copies I receive?
Your copies depend primarily on the quality of copies the Repository receives from the agencies.
We have no control over the quality of agency-submitted copies but will be happy to review those copies to determine if they are of good quality.
If our agency copies are of good quality and the copies you received are not, we will immediately re-copy those materials and provide the new copies to you at no charge.
- 10. How do I obtain copies of sealed records that the agencies send to you?
The Repository is not authorized to open, view or copy records that agencies designate as sealed and exempt from public disclosure.
Sealed records can only be opened for inspection by the trial court in camera following receipt by the Repository of an appropriate court order to ship those records to the court.
However, when we send you copies of open public records for a defendant, we include copies of labels from boxes and packages of sealed records along with the index which includes listings for any sealed boxes (marked as "*RESTRICTED* SEALED" on the listing).
These will indicate to you the nature of the records for which the agencies are claiming exemptions, and you can then request that the court issue an order to the Repository to send the records to the court for inspection.
As per Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.852(f)(2), "Upon the entry of an appropriate court order, sealed containers subject to an inspection by the trial court shall be shipped to the clerk of court. The containers may be opened only by the trial court in camera. The moving party shall bear all costs associated with the transportation and inspection of such records by the trial court. The trial court shall perform the unsealing and inspection without ex parte communications and in accord with procedures for reviewing sealed documents."
- 11. Do I need to keep contacting you to request new records you receive on my client?
Not in most cases.
Once we receive a request from you for a particular client you are representing, if we have responsive records at the time of your request we will then automatically copy and ship to you any additional records we receive in that case as soon as possible upon their receipt.
If we have no responsive records at the time of your request, you will need to contact us again to request any records that might have arrived subsequent to your earlier request.
- 12. When and how do agencies send records to the Repository?
Capital postconviction records are sent to the Repository following notification by the Attorney General or the prosecuting attorney that a death sentence has been affirmed.
Upon notification, agencies have 60 days to copy and deliver to the Repository all public records relating to the case.
The Repository provides guidelines and instructions for indexing, labeling and boxing these records for shipment to the Repository, including special instructions for handling sealed records.
The Repository is not a party to the notification process and has no way of determining which agencies will be or have been notified to send records to the Repository.
The Repository also has no way to determine which agencies have records in any particular case, which records those agencies are required to send, or whether or not those agencies have sent all required records to the Repository.
The Repository provides copies of all non-exempt records received from all agencies for any case for which you request records.