Court System Organization & Structure –
Florida Court Structure
The highest appellate court in Florida, the Florida Supreme Court’s 150+ years span a time when the state was the least populated (1845) to the present (2014) when it ranks fourth nationwide. Decisions stemming from Florida’s highest court have helped shape, certainly, the state itself, but the nation as a whole.
District Courts of Appeal
There are five District Courts of Appeal in Florida, located respectively in Tallahassee, Lakeland, Miami, West Palm Beach and Daytona Beach. As a general rule, decisions of the district courts of appeal represent the final appellate review of litigated cases.
Trial Courts – Circuit
There are 20 judicial circuits in the Florida court system. Circuit courts have general trial jurisdiction over matters not assigned by statute to the county courts and also hear appeals from county court cases. Some circuits are made up of multiple counties.
Trial Courts – County
The Florida Constitution establishes that there is ONE county court in each of Florida’s 67 counties. The county courts are sometimes referred to as “the people’s courts,” probably because a large part of the courts’ work involves voluminous citizen disputes, such as traffic offenses, less serious criminal matters (misdemeanors), and relatively small monetary disputes.