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October 24, 2014    Search Statutes:      
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Florida Statutes Search Tips

The Search Statutes form provides quick access to specified text in the Florida Statutes through the following features:

* Stemming—Search results include suffixes of word used (work, worked, working)

* Single and multiple wildcard characters:
  • Use an asterisk as a wildcard at the end or beginning of a word to expand the search results. For example, govern* for govern, governs, governing, government, governmental, governor.
  • To fill in a missing variable, use a question mark as a wild card at the end, beginning or anywhere within a portion of a word. For example, wom?n searches for woman, women, etc.)

* Boolean Operators (and, or, not) to refine queries

Searches on this site are not case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you type them, will be understood as lower case.


Elements of the Search Page

Simple Searches

The simplest way to search for information is to select the desired year, type a keyword or number into the search box, and hit the Enter key or click the Execute Query button.

Example:

When Everglades is entered into the 1999 search box, and the Execute Query button is clicked, sixty-one results are displayed over a series of seven pages. Two returns are displayed below.

Everglades returns screen shot

If a search for your typed word or phrase did not turn up what you were looking for, try rephrasing your query. For example, searches on car and motor vehicle return different sets of results. Online Sunshine only searches for pages that exactly match your search terms.

Stemming

Your search result may contain suffixes of the word used. This is called stemming. For example: If you search for the word bicycle, your search will return a broad result on bicycle, bicycles, and bicycling.

Wildcards

If stemming does not return a broad enough result, use an asterisk (*) as a wildcard at the end or beginning of a word, or for a portion of a word. For example: If you type govern* in the Search box, the search will return a broad result on Govern, governs, governed, governing, government, governmental, governor. To fill in a missing variable, use a question mark as a wild card at the end, beginning or anywhere within a portion of a word. For example: search for fi?? will result in finding documents for file, firm, film, etc.

Advanced Searches

To narrow the search results, use multiple-words, a number, or a phrase to find the exact Statute reference. Multiple-word searches are two or more words separated by a comma.

Example:

When Title I,Chapter 2 is typed into the search box, 24 returns appear. The first return shown below.

Returns for Title 1, Chapter 2 screen shot

Example:

When 287.063 is entered into the search box, five returns contain that number in the text. The first return shown below.

search result screen shot


 

Example:

Phrase searches are similar to multiple-word searches, except words are not separated by a comma. When federal census is entered into the search box, fourteen returns contain both federal and census. The first return shown below.

search result screen shot


 

Note: for returns that only contain the words federal census together, type the words in quotation marks in the search box.

Boolean Operators

Specify words, exclude words, or add complex combinations of words to be queried by using Boolean Operators. Boolean Operators should be represented by words (and, or, not) and not symbols (&, |, ^). For example, a search for dog and cat will result in documents with both dog and cat.