For general information about the judicial branch of the state of Florida.
|Counties Covered||Official Website|
|1st Judicial Circuit||Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton||www.firstjudicialcircuit.org|
|2nd Judicial Circuit||
Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty,
|3rd Judicial Circuit||Columbia, Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison,
|4th Judicial Circuit||Clay, Duval, Nassau||www.jud4.org|
|5th Judicial Circuit||Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, Sumter||www.circuit5.org|
|6th Judicial Circuit||Pasco, Pinellas||www.jud6.org|
|7th Judicial Circuit||Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, Volusia||www.circuit7.org|
|8th Judicial Circuit||Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy, Union||www.circuit8.org|
|9th Judicial Circuit||Orange, Osceola||www.ninthcircuit.org|
|10th Judicial Circuit||Hardee, Highlands, Polk||www.jud10.flcourts.org|
|11th Judicial Circuit||Miami-Dade||www.jud11.flcourts.org|
|12th Judicial Circuit||DeSoto, Manatee, Sarasota||www.jud12.flcourts.org|
|13th Judicial Circuit||Hillsborough||www.fljud13.org|
|14th Judicial Circuit||Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson,
|15th Judicial Circuit||Palm Beach||www.15thcircuit.com|
|16th Judicial Circuit||Monroe||www.keyscourts.net|
|17th Judicial Circuit||Broward||www.17th.flcourts.org|
|18th Judicial Circuit||Brevard, Seminole||www.flcourts18.org|
|19th Judicial Circuit||Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, St. Lucie||www.circuit19.org|
|20th Judicial Circuit||Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee||ca.cjis20.org/home/main/homepage.asp|
|Each of Florida's 67 counties has its own county court with its own website. To find a county court website, go to a search engine, such as Google, and type <COUNTY NAME> County Court. For example, a search for the Alachua County Court leads to the website at alachuacounty.us/depts/clerk/Pages/Clerk.aspx.|
Decisions of the Florida Supreme Court are binding on all lower courts. Decisions of a District Court of Appeal are binding on the lower courts (i.e., the Circuit Courts and County Courts) within its jurisdiction. For example, decisions of the Third District Court of Appeal are binding on the 11th and 16th Circuit Courts and the Monroe and Miami-Dade County Courts.
Normally, decisions of a District Court of Appeal are not binding on lower courts outside of its jurisdiction, but there is a notable exception that has been called "the Pardo principle":
[A] trial court [in Florida] must follow any decision of first impression by any one of Florida’s five district courts of appeal.
- Keith W. Rizzardi, Controlling Jurisdiction and the Duty to Disclose Adverse Authority: Florida's District Courts of Appeal Reign Supreme on Matters of First Impression, 85 Fla. B.J 46, 46 (2011) (discussing Pardo v. State, 596 So. 2d 665, 667 (Fla. 1992)).
University of Florida Levin College of Law
309 Village Drive
PO Box 117620
Gainesville, FL 32611