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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title V
JUDICIAL BRANCH
Chapter 26
CIRCUIT COURTS
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CHAPTER 26
CHAPTER 26
CIRCUIT COURTS
26.012 Jurisdiction of circuit court.
26.021 Judicial circuits; judges.
26.031 Judicial circuits; number of judges.
26.19 Abatement of actions because of change of judge, etc.
26.20 Availability of judge for hearings in chambers.
26.46 Jurisdiction of resident judge after assignment.
26.49 Executive officer of circuit court.
26.52 Travel expenses, circuit judges.
26.55 Conference of Circuit Judges of Florida; duties and reports.
26.56 Residual jurisdiction for abolished courts.
26.57 Temporary designation of county court judge to preside over circuit court cases.
26.012 Jurisdiction of circuit court.
(1) Circuit courts shall have jurisdiction of appeals from county courts except appeals of county court orders or judgments declaring invalid a state statute or a provision of the State Constitution and except orders or judgments of a county court which are certified by the county court to the district court of appeal to be of great public importance and which are accepted by the district court of appeal for review. Circuit courts shall have jurisdiction of appeals from final administrative orders of local government code enforcement boards.
(2) They shall have exclusive original jurisdiction:
(a) In all actions at law not cognizable by the county courts;
(b) Of proceedings relating to the settlement of the estates of decedents and minors, the granting of letters testamentary, guardianship, involuntary hospitalization, the determination of incompetency, and other jurisdiction usually pertaining to courts of probate;
(c) In all cases in equity including all cases relating to juveniles except traffic offenses as provided in chapters 316 and 985;
(d) Of all felonies and of all misdemeanors arising out of the same circumstances as a felony which is also charged;
(e) In all cases involving legality of any tax assessment or toll or denial of refund, except as provided in s. 72.011;
(f) In actions of ejectment; and
(g) In all actions involving the title and boundaries of real property.
(3) The circuit court may issue injunctions.
(4) The chief judge of a circuit may authorize a county court judge to order emergency hospitalizations pursuant to part I of chapter 394 in the absence from the county of the circuit judge; and the county court judge shall have the power to issue all temporary orders and temporary injunctions necessary or proper to the complete exercise of such jurisdiction.
(5) A circuit court is a trial court.
History.s. 3, ch. 72-404; s. 1, ch. 74-209; s. 1, ch. 77-119; s. 1, ch. 80-399; s. 1, ch. 81-178; s. 22, ch. 81-259; s. 12, ch. 82-37; s. 2, ch. 84-303; s. 5, ch. 91-112; s. 27, ch. 94-353; s. 52, ch. 95-280; s. 3, ch. 98-280; s. 1, ch. 2004-11.
26.021 Judicial circuits; judges.The state is divided into 20 judicial circuits:
(1) The first circuit is composed of Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton Counties.
(2) The second circuit is composed of Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla Counties.
(3) The third circuit is composed of Columbia, Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee, and Taylor Counties.
(4) The fourth circuit is composed of Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties.
(5) The fifth circuit is composed of Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, and Sumter Counties.
(6) The sixth circuit is composed of Pasco and Pinellas Counties.
(7) The seventh circuit is composed of Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, and Volusia Counties.
(8) The eighth circuit is composed of Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy, and Union Counties.
(9) The ninth circuit is composed of Orange and Osceola Counties.
(10) The tenth circuit is composed of Hardee, Highlands, and Polk Counties.
(11) The eleventh circuit is composed of Miami-Dade County.
(12) The twelfth circuit is composed of DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties.
(13) The thirteenth circuit is composed of Hillsborough County.
(14) The fourteenth circuit is composed of Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, and Washington Counties.
(15) The fifteenth circuit is composed of Palm Beach County.
(16) The sixteenth circuit is composed of Monroe County.
(17) The seventeenth circuit is composed of Broward County.
(18) The eighteenth circuit is composed of Brevard and Seminole Counties.
(19) The nineteenth circuit is composed of Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie Counties.
(20) The twentieth circuit is composed of Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee Counties.
(21) Notwithstanding subsections (1)-(20), the territorial jurisdiction of a circuit court may be expanded as provided for in s. 910.03(3).

The judicial nominating commission of each circuit, in submitting nominations for any vacancy in a judgeship, and the Governor, in filling any vacancy for a judgeship, shall consider whether the existing judges within the circuit, together with potential nominees or appointees, reflect the geographic distribution of the population within the circuit, the geographic distribution of the caseload within the circuit, the racial and ethnic diversity of the population within the circuit, and the geographic distribution of the racial and ethnic minority population within the circuit.

History.s. 4, ch. 72-404; s. 1, ch. 80-164; s. 1, ch. 81-220; s. 1, ch. 82-238; s. 1, ch. 94-137; s. 2, ch. 94-184; s. 8, ch. 2008-4; s. 7, ch. 2014-182.
Note.Former ss. 26.02, 26.03, 26.04, 26.05, 26.06, 26.07, 26.08-26.16, and 26.161-26.165.
26.031 Judicial circuits; number of judges.The number of circuit judges in each circuit shall be as follows:

JUDICIAL CIRCUIT     TOTAL

(1) First..........24
(2) Second..........16
(3) Third..........7
(4) Fourth..........35
(5) Fifth..........31
(6) Sixth..........45
(7) Seventh..........27
(8) Eighth..........13
(9) Ninth..........43
(10) Tenth..........28
(11) Eleventh..........80
(12) Twelfth..........21
(13) Thirteenth..........45
(14) Fourteenth..........11
(15) Fifteenth..........35
(16) Sixteenth..........4
(17) Seventeenth..........58
(18) Eighteenth..........26
(19) Nineteenth..........19
(20) Twentieth..........31
History.ss. 1, 3, ch. 72-402; s. 1, ch. 73-329; s. 1, ch. 75-124; s. 1, ch. 76-175; s. 1, ch. 77-368; s. 1, ch. 78-168; s. 5, ch. 79-413; s. 2, ch. 80-164; s. 1, ch. 80-385; s. 2, ch. 81-220; ss. 2, 7, ch. 82-238; s. 6, ch. 84-303; s. 1, ch. 85-218; s. 1, ch. 86-279; s. 1, ch. 87-89; s. 2, ch. 88-167; s. 1, ch. 89-290; s. 1, ch. 90-206; s. 1, ch. 93-63; s. 3, ch. 94-137; s. 1, ch. 95-351; s. 1, ch. 96-271; s. 1, ch. 97-257; ss. 1, 2, ch. 99-151; s. 1, ch. 2001-284; s. 1, ch. 2002-388; ss. 1, 2, ch. 2005-150; s. 1, ch. 2005-356; s. 1, ch. 2006-166.
26.19 Abatement of actions because of change of judge, etc.No civil or criminal cases, suits in equity, actions at law, statutory or otherwise; and no writs, process, pleading, motion, information, presentment, indictment or other proceedings, order, finding, decree, judgment or sentence, shall abate, be quashed, set aside, reversed, qualified, dismissed, defeated, or held to be in error because of the changes in any circuit or circuits, or judge or judges, state attorneys, or other prosecuting officers.
History.s. 5, ch. 17085, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 4738(5).
26.20 Availability of judge for hearings in chambers.In circuits having more than one circuit judge, at least one of said judges shall be available as nearly as possible at all times to hold and conduct hearings in chambers. In each circuit, there must be at least one judge available on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, and after hours on weekdays to hear motions for a temporary injunction ex parte in domestic violence cases. The chief judge may assign a judge for this purpose.
History.s. 4, ch. 17085, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 4738(4); s. 2, ch. 91-210.
26.46 Jurisdiction of resident judge after assignment.If a circuit judge is assigned to another circuit, none of the circuit judges in that other circuit shall, because of the assignment, be deprived of or affected in his or her jurisdiction other than to the extent essential so as not to conflict with the authority of the temporarily assigned circuit judge as to the particular case or cases or class of cases.
History.s. 2, ch. 6900, 1915; RGS 3061; CGL 4842; s. 113, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 2013-25.
26.49 Executive officer of circuit court.The sheriff of the county shall be the executive officer of the circuit court of the county.
History.s. 14, ch. 4, 1845; RS 1396; GS 1841; RGS 3086; CGL 4869.
26.52 Travel expenses, circuit judges.Each circuit judge shall be reimbursed for travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061.
History.s. 4, ch. 6912, 1915; RGS 3004; s. 2, ch. 8480, 1921; CGL 4738, s. 19, ch. 63-400.
26.55 Conference of Circuit Judges of Florida; duties and reports.
(1) There is created and established the Conference of Circuit Judges of Florida. The conference consists of the active and retired circuit judges of the several judicial circuits of the state, excluding retired judges practicing law.
(2) The conference shall annually elect a chair. The chair shall call all meetings and appoint committees to effectuate the purposes of the conference.
(3) The conference shall operate according to the Rules of Judicial Administration adopted by the Supreme Court. The responsibilities of the conference include:
(a) Considering and making recommendations concerning the betterment of the judicial system of the state and its various parts;
(b) Considering and making recommendations concerning the improvement of rules and methods of procedure and practice in the several courts;
(c) Reporting to the Supreme Court its findings and recommendations under this subsection; and
(d) Providing the Legislature with such recommendations as the conference may have concerning defects in the laws of this state and such amendments or additional legislation as the conference may deem necessary regarding the administration of justice.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-273; s. 1, ch. 72-49; s. 1, ch. 73-299; s. 2, ch. 84-254; s. 114, ch. 95-147; s. 9, ch. 2014-182.
26.56 Residual jurisdiction for abolished courts.
(1) If any court is abolished and a proceeding had in it is not transferred to another court, the circuit court for the county where the court formerly existed shall have jurisdiction over any further proceedings in the same manner as though the proceeding had been originally pending in the circuit court.
(2) Additional proceedings in the circuit court shall be commenced by filing the appropriate motion, pleading, or paper that would have been filed in the abolished court. The circuit court may require the custodian of the records of the abolished court to make the records of any proceedings available to the circuit court. The clerk of the circuit court shall charge no additional filing fee for proceedings under this section.
(3) This section shall apply to all courts that have heretofore been abolished and to all courts that may hereafter be abolished under the circumstances prescribed in this section.
History.s. 1, ch. 71-7.
26.57 Temporary designation of county court judge to preside over circuit court cases.A county court judge may be designated on a temporary basis to preside over circuit court cases by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court upon recommendation of the chief judge of the circuit. He or she may be assigned to exercise all county and circuit court jurisdiction in the county, except appeals from the county court. In addition, he or she may be required to perform the duties of circuit judge in other counties of the circuit as time may permit and as the need arises, as determined by the chief judge of the circuit. A county court judge designated to preside over circuit court cases shall receive the same salary as a circuit court judge, to the extent that funds are specifically appropriated by law for such purposes.
History.s. 1, ch. 74-217; s. 115, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 2008-111; s. 1, ch. 2009-61.