OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Florida's Judicial Boundaries and Workload

Report 19-06, August 2019

Report Summary

  • 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.

Related Reports
  1. A Review of the Florida District Courts of Appeal Boundaries and Workload
    Report 17-05 February 2017
Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by email OPPAGA@oppaga.fl.gov, telephone (850) 488-0021, or mail 111 W. Madison St., Room 312 Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475.
judicial circuits, district courts of appeal, judicial boundaries, circuit courts, DCAs, circuit boundaries, court workload