County and Circuit Court Jurisdictional Changes for Florida to go into Effect 2020

Tallahasse Florida Capital Building

  • In 2020, the state of Florida’s Circuit Court jurisdictional minimum will increase to $30,000.
  • In 2023, the Circuit Court jurisdictional minimum will increase to $50,000.
  • The change in jurisdictional minimums should result in more cases being filed in County Court rather than Circuit Court, with the hope that a greater division between the two leads to faster resolution of cases.

The state of Florida has two trial court levels: Circuit Court and County Court. In most instances, the critical factor in determining whether the lawsuit is brought in Circuit Court or County Court is the amount in controversy, otherwise known as the amount of damages the plaintiff is seeking.

In May of 2019, Florida’s Governor signed into law major changes to the jurisdictional limits of Florida Courts. The changes, which go into effect January 1, 2020, change the threshold amount for circuit court jurisdiction to $30,000.00, an increase from the current threshold of $15,000.00. Thus, beginning January 1, 2020, Florida’s County Courts will have jurisdiction for lawsuits where the amount in controversy is less than $30,000.00

The jurisdictional thresholds for circuit court will increase again January 1, 2023 to $50,000.00, and county court will have jurisdiction for any controversies where the amount sought is less than $50,000.00

Jurisdiction is the legal principle by which a court is allowed to try cases and rule on the matters before it in the lawsuit. In the state of Florida, there are 20 circuit courts, and sixty-seven county courts.

It is important to note, as jurisdictional limits have increased, the new changes going into effect will not change the jurisdiction for small claims court, which has been, and will remain, for claims up to $5,000.00.

The change in jurisdictional thresholds should help reduce the burden of caseloads in the circuit court. By doing so, the hope is that cases will move faster as the judges’ dockets open up with a lighter caseload as more cases are shifted from circuit court to county court.

To determine which trial court has original jurisdiction of your matter, or to discuss your potential lawsuit in greater detail, Rodriguez-Albizu Law is here to help. Get in touch now – https://www.ralawpa.com/contact/