Polk County Clerk Offers New "Do it Yourself" Legal Filing Service
Small Claims, Evictions, Restraining Orders Among Filings Available
Last updated 10/19/2022 at 1:35pm
An online "Do it Yourself" (DIY) tool and an in-person DIY Center are now available to Polk County residents, allowing them to simplify injunctions for protection orders, also known as restraining orders. The same DIY service is available for small claims, eviction, and some divorce cases.
The DIY service is an interactive tool that guides customers through each step of preparing the paperwork needed for their case, like TurboTax and other similar software. It is available on the Clerk's website at PolkCountyClerk.net, and the Clerk's new DIY Center at the Bartow Courthouse.
"It can be an emotional and vulnerable situation to be involved in these cases," said Stacy Butterfield, Polk County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller. "Navigating paperwork and the court system can be confusing. Not only this, but the impact of COVID-19 in the court system and beyond has proven that it is essential to provide remote access to services. It's my mission to make it easier to access critical Clerk services and to provide them in a manner that is current with today's culture."
"There are five types of injunctions and customers must determine which one bests fits their situation," Butterfield said. "This can often be confusing. Customers no longer have to read through lengthy paperwork. Now, they simply answer the questions in the DIY tool and are guided to the type that they need."
The online tool is available 24/7 and the DIY Center is available during office hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The center features full-time staff and a computer lab to assist customers. It is located on the first floor of the Bartow Courthouse at 255 N. Broadway Ave. in Bartow.
Clerk Butterfield is also an appointed member of the Florida Supreme Court's Workgroup on Access to Justice. In this capacity, she works with the other members to improve the court system throughout the entire state to better assist self-represented litigants.
"I actively involve myself at all levels of government to help create cohesive and streamlined service for customers," Clerk Butterfield said. "Not only are we focusing on improving DIY services in Polk County, but there is also a push to improve services throughout the state. It's important to me to utilize technology to enhance access for all customers. I look forward to the future expansion of these services."