Last updated: November 19, 2013
The Florida court system is divided into five districts that are made up of 20 Circuit Courts, which and are further broken down into 67 County Courts. Appeals are handled at the District Court, while trial level matters are divided between the big-time Circuit Courts and the small-time County Courts. Significantly, there are no municipal courts in Florida. Check out this handy chart for quick reference.
Jacksonville lay within the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida, which covers Duval, Nassau and Clay counties. Fourth Circuit appeals go to the First District Court of Appeal, which is headquartered in Tallahassee. Fortunately for you, the enormous Duval County Courthouse holds every state courtroom in Jacksonville, a true one-stop-shop for all your judicial needs.
Duval County Courthouse501 W. Adams St.
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Tel: (904) 255-2000
This gorgeous building just opened in 2013. Inside this sprawling structure you’ll find both the Circuit Court and County Court:
- The Fourth Circuit of Florida is for major crimes and large lawsuits. On the civil side, they handle lawsuits worth more than $15,000, juvenile dependency, family law and probate matters. On the criminal side, they handle all felony and juvenile delinquency cases. Furthermore, the Circuit Court hears appeals from County Court, making Circuit Court simultaneously the highest level trial court and lowest level appellate court in Florida.
- The Duval County Court is for minor crimes and small lawsuits. On the civil side, they mainly handle landlord-tenant issues and lawsuits worth less than $15,000. They also run small claims court for lawsuits worth less than $5,000. On the criminal side, they handle misdemeanor offenses and traffic violations. If you don’t want to travel to the courthouse, you can also pay your traffic tickets by mail or in Neptune Beach, in the Tradewinds Plaza at 1543 Atlantic Blvd.
Bryan Simpson U.S. Courthouse300 N. Hogan St.
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Tel: (904) 549-1900
The Bryan Simpson U.S. Courthouse holds a branch of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. They exclusively handle federal matters at the trial level here. The Middle District of Florida lay within the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over federal cases originating from Alabama, Florida and Georgia, and is headquartered in Atlanta. The Bryan Simpson U.S. Courthouse contains a branch office of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. There is no parking lot for this courthouse, but there is metered parking and several lots with daily fees within walking distance. Take note -- electronic devices, including laptops, cell phones, and any recording devices, are prohibited inside the courthouse without prior court order.
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