Courts in Florida are divided into county courts, administrative courts, circuit courts, district courts of appeal, and the Florida Supreme Court. Trials are held in county courts, administrative courts, and circuit courts. If a party believes a trial court decided a case in error, the party may ask that the case be reviewed by a higher court. This is called an appeal.  County court cases are appealed to the circuit court; administrative court and circuit court cases are appealed to the district courts of appeal (DCAs).


County and circuit court judges are elected. District court judges and Supreme Court justices are appointed by the Governor. However, when a judicial vacancy occurs on a county or circuit court, the Governor appoints a successor after receiving a list of nominees from a Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC).


In addition to state courts, a lawsuit may be brought in the federal court system in cases involving or arising under federal law or for large claims involving citizens of different states. Federal district courts are the trial courts in the federal system, and federal circuit courts are the federal courts of appeal. For more information, refer to Title V, Florida Statutes.