The Judicial branch is branch of government that interprets the law. Florida's Judicial branch is made up of several courts of varying authority.

  • Supreme Court - highest court consisting of 7 members, each appointed by the governor and confirmed by a vote of the people. The Supreme Court hears appeals from trial court criminal cases where the death penalty was imposed and appeals from civil cases where the validity of the law is in question.
  • District Court of Appeals - hears appeals that are not appealable to the Supreme Court or Circuit Court.
  • Circuit Court - highest trial court in the state, divided into 20 judicial circuits with exclusive jurisdiction in all actions of law not vested in county courts. Hears appeals from county courts, civil acions ($15,000 or more), estate settlements, juveniles cases, tax assessment and real property cases, competency and involuntary hospitalization.
  • County Court - each county in Florida has it's own court that handles misdemeanor cases, civil actions (less than $15,000), violations of municipal ordinances.