The state Constitution established county Courts in Florida. There is one for each of the 67 counties. There are varying numbers of judges per county based on the population of the area and caseload. If the population is 40,000 people or less, judges only need to be a member of The Florida Bar to qualify. In towns with larger populations, judges need to practice law for five years before being elected to a six-year term. They are voted in by residents of the county. They must also reside in the county where they are elected. The County Court judges may at times also be assigned to Circuit Court duty within their counties. Judges are subject to disciplinary standards set by the Judicial Qualifications Commission. On average there are 322 County Judges in the state.
Florida’s County Courts are trial courts with jurisdiction over civil disputes of $15,000 or less. Most cases tried in County Court are non-jury trials with one judge presiding. Florida calls them “the people’s courts,” as most of the caseload involves citizen disputes, minor criminal offenses and traffic violations along with small claims issues.
The state of Florida has a website called MyFloridaCounty.com where users can pay court fees online like child support and traffic tickets and also order copies of official court records. They also have a detailed list of each county and the towns included in them so visitors can easily locate which courthouse they need.
County Courts see a lot of cases each year. For the past year tallied, County Courts recorded 2,392,693 new filings. Of that total, 583,951 were for criminal offenses, and 1,808,742 were for civil matters. Overall, civil filings make up about 75% of the caseload for a year, and criminal issues account for the other 25%.