In an ongoing effort to safeguard the health of the community and Clerk employees, Polk County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller Stacy M. Butterfield, CPA announces changes to clerk-related services and office openings.
Effective Friday, March 20, the Clerk’s office is closed to the public except for essential services and any services that can be done online, by telephone, or by electronic means. The office will remain closed until further notice. This affects all those seeking walk-in services, and includes closures of all three locations – Bartow, Lakeland and Winter Haven.
The Honorable Ellen S. Masters, Chief Judge of the 10th Judicial Circuit, today released Administrative Order 1-53.0 that addresses emergency court operations related to COVID-19 (coronavirus). It was ordered that “No proceedings or other court events other than essential proceedings and proceedings critical to the state of emergency or public health emergency shall be conducted through in-person hearings until such time as the public health emergency is resolved, or as provided by subsequent order.” The administrative order is available at http://www.jud10.flcourts.org/.
The Honorable Charles Canady, Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, also announced today that all of the emergency orders previously issued will be extended for at least another three weeks, this includes the cancellation of jury trials and jury duty.
In alignment with the U.S. Department of State’s closure of passport agencies, the Clerk’s office is suspending passport application services.
Marriage license applications and ceremonies are suspended at this time too. The Clerk’s office will consider emergency situations when warranted.
Remote services that are still available to the public include:
- Pay a traffic ticket (online or by phone)
- Electronically record mortgages, deeds, and other official records (online, for repeat filers only, such as contractors, attorneys, title companies, closing agents, etc.)
- File court documents electronically (online)
- Electronically view court records, official records, and request certified copies (online)
- Check your jury status or request excusals and postponements (online or by phone)
- Check the status of court proceedings (by phone)
- Set up payment plans (by phone only)
- Electronically pay child support and alimony (online)
- Sign up to receive text and/or email alerts about court dates (online at enotify.flcourts.org)
- Mail traffic school completion certificates to P.O. Box 9000, Drawer CC-10, Bartow, FL 33831-9000
A full listing of remote services is available on the home page of the Clerk’s website at www.polkcountyclerk.net. Telephone services are available at 863-534-4000.
“Protecting the public trust remains one of my top priorities as does care for Clerk staff,” said Clerk Butterfield. “This is an extraordinary situation and my heart goes out to all those affected by COVID-19. I am doing everything possible to balance the accessibility of Clerk services and doing our part to practice social distancing requirements adopted by public health authorities. I realize these changes cause inconvenience for customers, but they are necessary steps for the health and safety of the community and our employees.”
For more details about court cancellations and scheduling, contact the 10th Judicial Circuit or go to their website at http://www.jud10.flcourts.org/.