Florida State Courts

Courts – State Courts – Florida

Highest Court

The highest court in Florida is the Supreme Court of Florida.  The Supreme Court consists of 7 justices. It has jurisdiction over (1) Appeals from District Court of Appeal.  (2) Direct appeals on constitutional questions, death penalty, bond violation, and cases of great public interest.  (3) Regulation and discipline of the Bar and judiciary.  (4) Advisory opinions.

Intermediate Courts

District Court of Appeal
The District Court of Appeal consists of 62 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Appeals from Circuit Court and administrative agencies.

General Courts

Circuit Court
The Circuit Court consist of 527 judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Actions at law over $15,000,  domestic relations, probate, guardianship, mental health, juvenile delinquency, and dependency.  (2) Exclusive felony jurisdiction, and jurisdiction over misdemeanors arising out of the same circumstances as a felony.
Appeals from county court.

Limited Courts

County Court
The County Court consists of 280 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Actions at law under $15,000. (2) Misdemeanors, ordinance violations, first appearance, (felony and misdemeanor) (3) Traffic (4) Simplified dissolutions at discretion of Chief Judge of Circuit.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Additional Information

25.073  Retired justices or judges assigned to temporary duty; additional compensation; appropriation.
As stated, a “retired justice” or a “retired judge” is a former justice or judge who has not been defeated in election to judicial office or defeated in a reelection, or who has not failed to be retained in seeking retention in his/her last judicial office and is not engaged in the practice of law. Any retired justice of the Supreme Court, the District court of Appeal, Circuit or County Court assigned to temporary duty of those courts will be compensating according to this statute.

25.331  Reports to remain the property of the state
The opinions of the Supreme Court and the District Court of Appeal shall be available to and furnished to the public officers of Florida.  These reports shall remain public property of the state and the appropriate public office.  Copies of the previous reports may be exchanged for an available alternate format in accordance with guidelines established by the Supreme Court.

25.351  Acquisition of books
Books for the library of the Supreme Court may be acquired by purchase or by exchange.

25.384  Court Education Trust Fund.–
A Court Education Trust Fund is created through the Florida Court Educational Council, for the purpose to provide judicial education for judges, the State Courts Administrator ( and his/her staff), trial court administrators, and appellate court law clerks.  The Supreme Court shall be the administrator of this fund.

34.017  Certification of questions to district court of appeal
A county court is has the power to allow for the certification of a question to the district court of appeal in a final judgment if the question may have a statewide application AND is of great public importance OR will affect the uniform administration of justice.  The trial court in the final judgment shall make the findings of fact and conclusions or law and state concisely the question to be certified.  If the district court agrees to answer the certified questions, it shall decide all appealable issues that stem from the final judgment.  If the district court declines to answer the certified questions, the case shall be transferred to the circuit court which has appellate jurisdiction.

34.131  To be open for voluntary pleas of guilty
All county courts in Florida, shall at all times, except Sundays, be open for voluntary please of guilty in all criminal cases.  Likewise, the judges of said courts, shall at all time, except Sundays, may receive such voluntary pleas of guilty by the accused.  Upon receiving the please, the judge may pronounce judgment of conviction and sentence upon such pleas and direct the entry of the same of record by the clerks of said courts.

34.161  Persons convicted in county court allowed 48 hours to pay fine before being worked.
A person convicted of a crime in the county court may at any time within the 48 hours from sentencing, pay the said fine and cost or give the bail for the payment of such fine and cost of prosecution.  This person may not be transferred or relieved to persons working the county prisoners until the expiration of 48 hours from sentencing by the court.


Inside Florida State Courts