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Phase I of Collier Legal Notices Website is Expected to Launch in the Second Quarter of 2023

Legal notices in newspapers. Photo courtesy: Naples Daily News.

Collier County will be among the first in the state to launch its own website where the public will be able to view legal notices related to tax deeds, the Value Adjustment Board (VAB), and more. The first of three phases is currently in testing and expects to launch in the second quarter of 2023. This new website will provide digital coverage instead of the more traditional print publication of notices, which is expected to significantly reduce overall advertising costs.  

Until recently, State legislation required legal notices to be published through local newspapers.  In 2022, House Bill 7049 was signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and took effect on January 1, 2023. Government agencies are now allowed to publish legal notices on publicly accessible websites. In anticipation of this change, our team has been working with website developers to launch a platform that will provide more accessibility to those who need to place public notices as well as those seeking the information.  

With the launch of this legal notices’ website, the county will be able to save taxpayer money and decrease the amount of time taken for the legal notices to become available to the public. Over the past five years, the County has spent an average of $280,000 per year in legal notice advertisements.  

Once the website is fully launched and operating, the Clerk’s Finance Department has projected a 50-60% savings per year. Additionally, the time it takes to publish notices will be reduced significantly. Registered users will be able to place ads through an online portal, which is expected to be reviewed and published on the website in one-to-three business days. An email subscription will also be integrated for users to be automatically notified of the latest notices, increasing transparency and having information more readily available for stakeholders. 

During the initial launch of the website, the Clerk’s Office will continue to post legal notices through traditional print media and on the website. This transition period is to ensure complete transparency while allowing the State of Florida to address statutes requiring specific print specifications (such as font size, advertisement size, and colors). Once the statutes are clear and the public is accessing the website, the Clerk’s Office will phase out print advertising purchases, reducing the cost to the public.  

New Collier Legal Notices Website

For Phase I, tax deeds and VAB notices will be available. Phase II will involve working with County Departments and local municipalities to provide access to the platform in a way that meets the unique legal notice requirements that each agency follows. This phase is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2023. Phase III is anticipated to include non-governmental agencies such as developers and attorneys who are required to advertise notices on land issues related to county processes.  Phase III is expected to be completed no later than the first quarter of 2024. Due to the legal significance of this project, as well as the complexity of the variety of notices, we are meticulously implementing each element so that we can test and verify processes.   

Additional information and relevant updates regarding this project will be posted on CollierClerk.com and through the organization’s social media. Stay tuned and we are excited to get you on board with this transition that will improve efficiency and reduce advertising costs to the public!