in 2003, the Florida Supreme Court mandated that Florida’s county clerks begin implementing a twenty digit uniform case numbering system. The obvious purpose of using a Uniform Case Number (UCN) was so that practitioners would be able to properly filed their pleadings without fear of them being rejected and so that the courts could make statistical reports that would result in uniform comparison.
But as an attorney that practices in multiple counties, one of the most frustrating problems I continue to routinely come across is that very few criminal justice agencies (especially State Attorney’s Offices) have implemented, or integrated, Florida’s Uniform Case Numbering System into their case management programs. As a result, I continue to come across secretaries and judicial assistants who are unfamiliar with Florida’s Uniform Case Numbering System and are unable to find my case or coordinate hearing time unless I give them their local case number; which is not always obvious to determine.
So I thought it might be helpful if I posted an overview of the numbering system used in the county and circuit courts to hopefully facilitate better understanding of and more universal adoption of this logical system.
The Uniform Case Number is a twenty character sequence that has five components, broken out, it looks as follows: XX-XXXX-XX-XXXXXX-XXXXXX.
For Example, the first felony case filed in Orange County for 2009 would look as follows: 48-2009-CF-000001-OAXXXX
Broken down, the five components are explained as follows:
The first two characters are the county designation code. Florida has 67 counties and the codes are assigned from 01 – 67 in alphabetical order. A listing of each county’s code is provided at the bottom of this post.
The next four characters are the year your case was actually opened in with the clerk of the court, not the year the issue in dispute occurred.
An example would be if you were physically placed under arrest on December 31, 2008, but you were not actually booked into jail until January 1, 2009. As a result the year designation for your case would be 2009. Because this is the year the Clerk actually would open your case, which is because you were not booked into jail and brought to their attention until 2009.
The following two characters are the court case type (or designation). In addition to the brief examples provided here, I have alco provided a complete listing of court case types at the bottom of the post.
Examples are CF = Felony, MM = Misdemeanor, CT = Criminal Traffic.
The following six characters are the case sequence; simply meaning the number assigned to a case as they are opened each year.
The first case of each year in each division is assigned 000001, the second case is 000002, and so on.
The final six numbers are not specifically assigned and are left to the individual counties to use for their own internal management purposes. Two common practices are to use the first of the two digits to assign co-defendant order (usually starting alphabetical by last name) or municipality designation.
For example, Co-Defendant 1 would be assigned A, Co-Defendant 2 would be assigned B, and so forth.
Or, a misdemeanor case initiated by Eatonville Police Department in Orange County, Florida might look as follows: 48-2009-MM-000001-EA. The E indicates an Eatonville PD case and the A indicates Co-Defendant A if there were two people arrested.
In any event, I hope this provides some clarification for the masses out there.
Court Case Type Designation
|AP||Appeal from County Court|
|CJ||Delinquency (Juvenile Crime)|
|CO||County Ordinance Violation|
|CT||Criminal Traffic Citation (But also a Misdemeanor Offense)|
|MO||Municipal Ordinance Violation|
County Code Designations