The Florida court system is comprised of the Supreme Court, five district courts of appeal, 20 circuit courts and 67 county courts. Each layer of the Florida judicial system has a distinct role in providing justice to all Floridians.
The Office of the State Courts Administrators (OSCA) is the administrative arm of the Florida Supreme Court. The office was formed in 1972, the result of Article V of the state constitution that sought to bring greater consistency and uniformity to the judicial branch.
Read about the Mission & Vision of the Florida court system.
Court System Organization & 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.
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.
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 countys.
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.