Until 1973, Florida had more different kinds of trial courts than any state except New York. A movement developed in the late 1960s to reform this confusing system.
As a result, Florida now has a simple two-tiered trial court system. A temporary exception was the municipal court, which was not abolished until January 1, 1977. Most of these courts in major population areas were abolished on January 1, 1973.
The majority of jury trials in Florida take place before one judge sitting as judge of the circuit court. The circuit courts are sometimes referred to as courts of general jurisdiction, in recognition of the fact that most criminal and civil cases originate at this level.
The Constitution provides that a circuit court shall be established to serve each judicial circuit established by the Legislature, 其中有 二十. 在每个回路中, there may be any number of judges, depending upon the population and caseload of the particular area.
To be eligible for the office of circuit judge, a person must be an elector of a county within the circuit and must have been admitted to the practice of law in the state for the preceding five years.
Circuit court judges are elected by the voters of the circuits in nonpartisan, contested elections against other persons who choose to qualify as candidates for the position. Circuit court judges serve for six-year terms, and they are subject to the same disciplinary standards and procedures as Supreme Court Justices and district court judges.
A chief judge is chosen from among the circuit judges and county judges in each judicial circuit to carry out administrative responsibilities for all trial courts (both circuit and county courts) within the circuit.
Links to the Circuit Courts
- 第一个电路 - Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton
- 第二巡回 - Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla
- 第三电路 - Columbia, Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee and Taylor
- 第四电路 - Clay, Duval and Nassau
- 第五巡回 - Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter
- 第六个电路 -帕斯科和皮内拉斯
- 第七巡回上诉法院 ——弗拉格勒，帕特南，圣. 约翰和沃卢西亚
- 第八个电路 - Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy, and Union
- 第九巡回法院 -奥兰治和奥西奥拉
- 十电路 - Hardee, Highlands, and Polk
- 第十一巡回 ——迈阿密戴德
- 十二电路 - DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota
- 十三电路 ——希尔斯堡惨案
- 十四电路 - Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson and Washington
- 十五电路 ——棕榈滩
- 16电路 ——梦露
- 17电路 - - - - - -布劳沃德
- 十八电路 -布里瓦德和塞米诺尔
- 19电路 - Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. 露西
- 二十电路 - Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee
Circuit courts have general trial jurisdiction over matters not assigned by statute to the county courts and also hear appeals, if authorized by the Florida Statutes, of decisions in certain administrative, noncriminal违规, and other types of cases. 因此, 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, 除其他事项外, original jurisdiction over civil disputes involving more than $50,000; controversies involving the estates of decedents, 未成年人, and persons adjudicated as incapacitated; cases relating to juveniles; criminal prosecutions for all felonies; tax disputes; actions to determine the title and boundaries of real property; suits for declaratory judgments that is, to determine the legal rights or responsibilities of parties under the terms of written instruments, 法律, or regulations before a dispute arises and leads to litigation; and requests for injunctions to prevent persons or entities from acting in a manner that is asserted to be unlawful.
最后, circuit courts are also granted the power to issue the extraordinary writs of certiorari, 禁止, 命令书, 现状warranto, 还有人身保护令, and all other writs necessary to the complete exercise of their jurisdiction.