Florida Case Law
The Florida state court system is divided into three levels. The highest court in Florida is the Florida Supreme Court, which consists of seven justices. The Supreme Court reviews appeals of decisions by the Florida District Courts of Appeal. It also reviews appeals of decisions by trial courts in limited situations. Decisions by the Florida Supreme Court are final unless the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to review an appeal of a decision.
The middle level of the Florida state court system consists of the Florida District Courts of Appeal, which are divided into five districts. The First District is based in Tallahassee, the Second District is based in Lakeland (with a branch in Tampa), the Third District is based in Miami, the Fourth District is based in West Palm Beach, and the Fifth District is based in Daytona Beach. Most appeals of decisions by trial courts must pass through the District Courts of Appeal before reaching the Supreme Court. Decisions by the District Courts of Appeal are final unless the Supreme Court agrees to review an appeal of a decision.
The lowest level of the Florida state court system consists of the Florida Circuit Courts and the Florida County Courts. The Circuit Courts are trial courts with general jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases. These courts also review appeals of decisions by County Courts. The jurisdiction of the County Courts is limited to certain types of cases. These include misdemeanors, traffic violations, and civil matters with no more than $15,000 at issue.