Requesting Capital Postconviction Public Records
Frequently Asked Questions
- 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 phone.
- If you request records by phone, we ask that you send written confirmation so we can provide the records you are requesting.
Capital Postconviction Public Records Repository
State Archives of Florida
R.A. Gray Building, MS 9-E
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0250
Select Option 1 for the State Archives.
Then select Option 4 for the Capital Postconviction Public Records Repository.
- 2. How do I know what records regarding my client are available at the Repository?
Contact the Repository to inquire about what records are available.
You can also search the State Archives of Florida 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.
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:
- Full name of your client.
- Your 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.)
- 4. Can I obtain hard copies of the materials instead of the disc?
If submissions were received in paper form, we can provide paper copies instead of scanning them upon specific request.
- 5. How do I obtain audio and video tapes and other media that might be included in the materials sent to the Repository?
You do not need to make a special request for these materials; all responsive records will be copied and provided to you regardless of format.
- 6. I would like to obtain records on multiple co-defendants. Do I have to make separate requests for each defendant?
Separate requests are not required. Just provide us with all the necessary information regarding which records you require for each defendant.
If you will require copies of any records received by the Repository for your client’s co-defendants subsequent to your initial request, please specify that in your request. We will automatically copy and ship to you any additional records we receive regarding your client.
- 7. 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, you can expect a longer turnaround time.
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.
If there is an active death warrant in a case, copying and shipping records in that case will be our top priority, and we will overnight these shipments upon request.
- 8. What if I am not satisfied with the quality of copies I receive?
The quality of your copies depends primarily on the quality of copies the Repository receives from the submitting 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 recopy those materials and provide the new copies to you at no charge.
- 9. 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.
- 10. When and how do agencies send records to the Repository?
Capital postconviction records are generally sent to the Repository following notification by the Attorney General or the prosecuting attorney that a death sentence has been affirmed, in accordance with deadlines established in Section 27.7081, Florida Statutes, Capital postconviction public records production, and Rules 3.852 and 3.993, Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure (PDF).
We provide 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 us records.
We also have 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.