You have filed your notice of appeal of the final order in this civil proceeding with the clerk of the court. What should you do next?
Directions to Clerk
You have 10 days from the date of filing the notice of appeal to file directions to the clerk. Should you file such? It depends. The clerk will automatically prepare a record on appeal that includes all the documents listed in Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure Rule 9.200(a)(1). Fla. R. App. P. 9.200(a)(1) provides:
Except as otherwise designated by the parties, the record shall consist of the original documents, all exhibits that are not physical evidence, and any transcript(s) of proceedings filed in the lower tribunal, except summonses, praecipes, subpoenas, returns, notices of hearing or of taking deposition, depositions, and other discovery. In criminal cases, when any exhibit, including physical evidence, is to be included in the record, the clerk of the lower tribunal shall not, unless ordered by the court, transmit the original and, if capable of reproduction, shall transmit a copy, including but not limited to copies of any tapes, CDs, DVDs, or similar electronically recorded evidence. The record shall also include a progress docket.
You will not need to file directions to get such documents included in the record.
However, if you want to include something in the record that is not automatically included under Fla. R. App. P. 9.200(a)(1) then you should file such directions. This does not mean you can include whatever you want. Rather it means you can include those items that are automatically omitted. For instance, notices of hearings, depositions, other discovery, etc. are not included in the record. See Fla. R. App. P. 9.200(a)(1). As a result, if you want them included in the record then you have to file directions to the clerk. You should also file such directions if you want to exclude items from the record. In addition, these directions should be substantially in the form prescribed by Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure Rule 9.900(g).
You should also remember that the clerk of court is generally not preparing the record for free. You will generally be billed for this service. Thus, if you chose not to exclude items or fail to do such then you will probably have to pay more to the clerk of court then if you had excluded the unnecessary documents. Although, sometimes you are not sure what is necessary or not until your brief is complete and thus, it may be wise not to exclude. The choice is yours.
Statement of Judicial Acts
Also, if you exclude items from the record then you will be required to file with the lower court clerk a statement of judicial acts to be reviewed. See Fla. R. App. P. 9.200(a)(3). The purpose of this statement is to inform the opposing party of the issues in order to allow that party the opportunity to decide whether additional portions of the record will be needed. See Central Florida Wetlands Soc. v. Firstate Financial, 604 So. 2d 557 (Fla. 5th DCA 1992).
Designation to Court Reporter
In addition, if you want to include transcripts in the record that have not yet been transcribed then you need to file a designation to court reporter. You have 10 days from the date of filing the notice of appeal to file such a designation to the court reporter. See Fla. R. App. P. 9. 200(b)(1). This is where you designate which portions of the proceedings not on file that you want transcribed and included in the record. This designation should be substantially in the form prescribed by Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure Rule 9.900(h).