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Trial Courts - County

Organization

  • The Constitution establishes a county court in each of Florida's 67 counties. The number of judges in each county court varies with the population and caseload of the county. To be eligible for the office of county judge, a person must be an elector of the county and must have been a member of The Florida Bar for five years; in counties with a population of 40,000 or less, a person must only be a member of The Florida Bar.
  • County judges are eligible for assignment to circuit court, and they are frequently assigned as such within the judicial circuit that embraces their counties.
  • County judges serve six-year terms, and they are subject to the same disciplinary standards, and to the jurisdiction of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, as all other judicial officers.

Jurisdiction

  • The trial jurisdiction of county courts is established by statute. The jurisdiction of county courts extends to civil disputes involving $15,000 or less.
  • The majority of non-jury trials in Florida take place before one judge sitting as a judge of the county court. 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.

Links

Judicial Family Institute (JFI) - The Judicial Family Institute is a subcommittee of the Conference of Chief Justices.  It also works with the National Center for State Courts and is dedicated to providing information, support and education to judicial family members