Shawn L. TaylorShawn L. Taylor&&
February 13, 2023

Florida Changes Rules for Publishing Legal Notices

Effective January 1, 2023, House Bill 7049 (HB 7049) implements changes to Florida publication statutes and public notice posting that will likely have a transformative effect on how we satisfy requirements for publishing legal notices.  

Although these changes may negatively affect the newspaper industry, there are several benefits for the legal services industry. These include the potential for reducing costs associated with publishing required announcements such as sale notices and notices in lieu of process service.  

HB 7049 provides the option to publish on designated private or “publicly accessible” websites. Florida Statute 55.0311(b) provide the following definitions regarding this:  

“For purposes of notices and advertisements required under s. 50.011, the term ‘publicly accessible website’ means a county’s official website or other private website designated by the county for the publication of legal notices and advertisements that is accessible via the Internet.”  

Newspaper Requirements

The change requires newspaper websites to have county approval and not charge a fee for access or risk not being used.  

The law also requires any governmental agency located in a county with a population of fewer than 160,000 to first hold a public hearing to determine if its residents have sufficient access to the internet before publishing legal notices on a publicly accessible website.

As a caveat, local governments may continue to post notices in local papers if they choose, but the bill changes the law to make it clear that notices posted in newspapers will require posting and access to the legal notice on the newspaper’s website at no additional charge. Further information regarding the requirement of newspapers to post any print notices on their website at no charge can be found in Florida Statute 50.0211.

Please note that Shawn Taylor is an MDK Alumni member.

This publication is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an opinion of MDK.
Do not rely on this publication without seeking legal counsel.