The Florida Legislature
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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Florida's Judicial Boundaries and Workload, Report No. 19-06, August 2019
 
Full report in PDF format


  • Florida courts are divided into county and judicial circuits at the trial court level and districts and the Supreme Court at the appellate level. The number of circuits has changed over time, from a low of four to a high of 28. There are currently 20 judicial circuits.
  • The geographical boundaries of the district courts of appeal have changed twice, from the original three at their creation in 1957 to the current five.
  • While Florida’s population growth is projected to be slower than in years past, projections show that the populations in all judicial circuits except the 16th (Monroe County) will experience double-digit growth rates over the next 27 years.
  • In terms of court workload, the number of circuit and appellate case filings have followed similar patterns, both increasing from the 1970s to the 2010s. However, in the last decade, filings have decreased.
  • As population grows and caseloads continue to fluctuate in the future, the Legislature and the courts could consider addressing these changes. This could include
    • use of the existing judicial workload certification process;
    • an increase in the number of less costly non-judicial staff, which may help courts handle growing workloads within existing judicial resources;
    • a change in judicial boundaries; and
    • an increase in the number of District Courts of Appeal branch headquarters.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

State Courts System
District Courts of Appeal
Circuit Courts

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 17-05 A Review of the Florida District Courts of Appeal Boundaries and Workload,published in February 2017.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
e-mail address: oppaga@oppaga.fl.gov


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