Florida Court System

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT

Florida Supreme Court

The Florida Supreme Court is the highest court in the State of Florida. However, the jurisdiction of the court is limited by the Florida Constitution. The Florida Supreme Court has mandatory jurisdiction and handles all cases involving a death sentence, appellate court decisions declaring a state statute or part of the state constitution unconstitutional, and bond validation or orders of the public service commission.  The Florida Supreme court has discretionary jurisdiction over any other case.  This means it may review any decision of a district court of appeal that expressly validates a state statute, construes a provision of the state or federal constitution, affects a class or state officers, directly conflicts with a decision of another district court or of the Supreme Court on the same question of law, one that it certifies as a matter of great public importance, a direct conflict with another district, a certified judgment of a trial court or certified question from federal courts.  All final orders of the Florida Supreme Court are appealable to the United States Supreme Court. However, the United States Supreme Court has discretionary jurisdiction over all final orders of the Florida Supreme Court.

Link: http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/

DISTRICT COURTS OF APPEAL

District Court of Appeals Distribution Chart

The district courts of appeal are divided up into five districts throughout the State of Florida.  These five districts are comprised of the various judicial circuits and are located in Tallahassee, Lakeland, Miami, West Palm Beach, and Daytona Beach.  The district courts of appeal have jurisdiction over appeals from the final orders of the trial courts and certain non-final orders to correct harmful errors by having review by a multi-judge panel of experienced judges and to promote clarity and consistency in the law by publishing opinions that set forth the relevant facts of the case and the proper application of the law to those facts.  The district courts have been granted constitutional authority to issue the extraordinary writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus, as well as all other writs necessary to the complete exercise of their jurisdiction.  Generally, decisions of the district courts of appeal represent the final appellate review of litigated cases.  A person who is displeased with a district court's express decision may ask for review in the Florida Supreme Court and then in the United States Supreme Court, but neither tribunal is required to accept the case for further review.

The District Courts of Appeal are comprised of the following judicial circuits:

First District Court of Appeal — (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 8th and 14th Circuits)

Link: http://www.1dca.org/

Second District Court of Appeal — (6th, 10th, 12th, 13th and 20th Circuits)

Link: http://www.2dca.org/

Third District Court of Appeal — (11th and 16th Circuits)

Link: http://www.3dca.flcourts.org/

Fourth District Court of Appeal — (15th, 17th and 19th Circuits)

Link: http://www.4dca.org/

Fifth District Court of Appeal — (5th, 7th, 9th and 18th Circuits)

Link: http://www.5dca.org/

CIRCUIT COURTS

Trial Court

Distribution of Circuit Courts in Florida

The circuit courts are the trial courts of the State of Florida.  There are 20 circuits which are comprised of multiple counties.  Circuit courts have general trial jurisdiction over matters not assigned by statute to the county courts and also hear appeals from county court cases.  Thus, circuit courts are simultaneously the highest trial courts and the lowest appellate courts in Florida's judicial system.  The trial jurisdiction of circuit courts includes criminal prosecutions for all felonies.  Circuit courts are also granted the power to issue the extraordinary writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus, and all other writs necessary to the complete exercise of their jurisdiction.

The judicial circuits are comprised of the following counties:

First Circuit — Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton

Link: http://www.firstjudicialcircuit.org/

Second Circuit — Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla

Link: http://2ndcircuit.leoncountyfl.gov/

Third Circuit — Columbia, Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee and Taylor

Link: http://www.jud3.flcourts.org/

Fourth Circuit — Clay, Duval and Nassau

Link: http://www.coj.net/departments/fourth-judicial-circuit-court.aspx

Fifth Circuit — Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter

Link: http://www.circuit5.org/c5/

Sixth Circuit — Pasco and Pinellas

Link: http://www.jud6.org/

Seventh Circuit — Flagler, Putnam, St.  Johns and Volusia

Link: http://www.circuit7.org/

Eighth Circuit — Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy, and Union

Link: http://www.circuit8.org/

Ninth Circuit — Orange and Osceola

Link: http://www.ninthcircuit.org/

Tenth Circuit — Hardee, Highlands, and Polk

Link: http://www.jud10.flcourts.org/

Eleventh Circuit — Dade

Link: http://www.jud11.flcourts.org/

Twelfth Circuit — DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota

Link: http://www.jud12.flcourts.org/

Thirteenth Circuit — Hillsborough

Link: http://www.fljud13.org/

Fourteenth Circuit — Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson and Washington

Link: http://www.jud14.flcourts.org/

Fifteenth Circuit — Palm Beach

Link: http://15thcircuit.co.palm-beach.fl.us/

Sixteenth Circuit — Monroe

Link: http://www.keyscourts.net/

Seventeenth Circuit — Broward

Link: http://www.17th.flcourts.org/

Eighteenth Circuit — Brevard and Seminole

Link: http://www.flcourts18.org/page.php?2

Nineteenth Circuit — Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St.  Lucie

Link: http://www.circuit19.org/

Twentieth Circuit — Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee

Link: http://www.ca.cjis20.org/home/main/homepage.asp

COUNTY COURTS

Trial Courts

Distribution of Circuit Courts in Florida

The Constitution establishes a county court in each of Florida's 67 counties.  They are a part of Florida’s 20 individual circuits and are the lowest courts of jurisdiction.  The majority of cases in the county court’s jurisdiction are citizen disputes, such as traffic offenses and less serious criminal matters (misdemeanors).

The county courts are a part of the following judicial circuits:

First Circuit — Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton

Link: http://www.firstjudicialcircuit.org/

Second Circuit — Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla

Link: http://2ndcircuit.leoncountyfl.gov/

Third Circuit — Columbia, Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee and Taylor

Link: http://www.jud3.flcourts.org/

Fourth Circuit — Clay, Duval and Nassau

Link: http://www.coj.net/departments/fourth-judicial-circuit-court.aspx

Fifth Circuit — Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter

Link: http://www.circuit5.org/c5/

Sixth Circuit — Pasco and Pinellas

Link: http://www.jud6.org/

Seventh Circuit — Flagler, Putnam, St.  Johns and Volusia

Link: http://www.circuit7.org/

Eighth Circuit — Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy, and Union

Link: http://www.circuit8.org/

Ninth Circuit — Orange and Osceola

Link: http://www.ninthcircuit.org/

Tenth Circuit — Hardee, Highlands, and Polk

Link: http://www.jud10.flcourts.org/

Eleventh Circuit — Dade

Link: http://www.jud11.flcourts.org/

Twelfth Circuit — DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota

Link: http://www.jud12.flcourts.org/

Thirteenth Circuit — Hillsborough

Link: http://www.fljud13.org/

Fourteenth Circuit — Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson and Washington

Link: http://www.jud14.flcourts.org/

Fifteenth Circuit — Palm Beach

Link: http://15thcircuit.co.palm-beach.fl.us/

Sixteenth Circuit — Monroe

Link: http://www.keyscourts.net/

Seventeenth Circuit — Broward

Link: http://www.17th.flcourts.org/

Eighteenth Circuit — Brevard and Seminole

Link: http://www.flcourts18.org/page.php?2

Nineteenth Circuit — Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St.  Lucie

Link: http://www.circuit19.org/

Twentieth Circuit — Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee

Link: http://www.ca.cjis20.org/home/main/homepage.asp

Contact The Law Offices of Paul D. Petruzzi Today

Put A Highly Successful Attorney In Your Corner

Send My Information