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Florida Court Records

There is an extensive history of Florida court records being used and maintained since the early to mid-19th century, and now offers a plethora of information to the public as well as Florida’s Supreme Court justices. More than 130,000 volumes offer the ability to research at will current and past opinions and decisions, criminal and civil court proceedings, and even local and federal statutes.

These records can apply when conducting general legal research as well as when a citizen chooses to represent themselves in the court of law. Supreme Court justices use these Florida court records to support their decisions in appeals, which come to them from lower trial and appellate courts in the state. Florida’s Supreme Court accepts more than 2,000 case filings each fiscal year.

Florida Court Records

History of Florida Courts

The Florida Supreme Court library was first established in 1845, and is the oldest library supported by state funding. Originally, it was only intended to provide support to the Supreme Court justices, and still operates under this primary purpose.

The Supreme Court Clerk served as the librarian from 1885 until 1956. Since that time, a constitutional amendment has provided for a separate librarian to administer and maintain the library’s holdings.

Florida Supreme Court

Florida Court Statistics

Florida Courts recieve 3,536,892 filings per year. In 2012, the court received 4,030,328 filings and gave 3,789,062 dispositions. In 2016, the state court caseload counted 3,185,662 filings and had 3,144,301 dispositions.

Total State Caseloads

Year Caseloads
2012 4,030,328
2013 3,677,323
2014 3,426,685
2015 3,364,460
2016 3,185,662

Florida Court Records Availability

Florida court records available include more than 130,000 volumes held by the Florida Supreme Court Library, located in Tallahassee. These records are primarily used to aid the state’s judiciary, including Supreme Court justices and local legal counsels, in their research for cases and opinions. The public may also utilize these Florida court records for personal research and in the event they are representing themselves in the court of law.

Specific types of Florida court records available through the Supreme Court Library include past court decisions, local and state statutes, legal journals and publications, as well as federal statutes and case information. These records are available in both hard copy format and online.

Florida Supreme Court

Share of Court Type Incoming Caseloads

Court Type Caseloads
Traffic: 1,525,585 (47.9 %)
Domestic Relations: 233,545 (7.3 %)
Criminal: 692,193 (21.7 %)
Civil: 734,339 (23.1 %)

Share of Court Type Outgoing Caseloads

Court Type Caseloads
Traffic: 1,500,609 (47.7 %)
Domestic Relations: 226,295 (7.2 %)
Criminal: 724,956 (23.1 %)
Civil: 692,441 (22.0 %)

Florida Main Court Information

Florida’s Supreme Court was technically created in 1838 with the state’s constitution, though justices were not elected to serve on it until the period of 1846-1851. At the time, there were three justices elected and assigned to the court. The governor was able to appoint justices after an amendment in 1861, and in 1902 the number of justices was increased to six. The state’s legislature lowered this number to five in 1911, then it was increased to six again in 1923. In 1940, the number was increased to seven.

Florida Supreme Court

Family Court Cases

Domestic relations caseload of Florida at year end 2016 has increased by 0.6% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases was 232,222 with a rate of 1,202 cases per 100,000 population, lower than it's in 2016.

Year Domestic Relations Caseload Total Statewide Caseload
2012 232,222 4,030,328
2013 236,574 3,677,323
2014 222,849 3,426,685
2015 235,318 3,364,460
2016 233,545 3,185,662

Domestic Relations Clearance Rates

Year Incoming Caseload Outgoing Caseload Caseload per 100,000 Population
2012 232,222 243,268 1,202
2013 236,574 231,493 1,210
2014 222,849 226,742 1,120
2015 235,318 225,050 1,161
2016 233,545 226,295 1,133

States with More & Less Domestic Relation Caseloads than Florida

More Domestic Relations Cases than Florida:

State: Caseload:
New York 570,709
Texas 397,468
California 388,903
Pennsylvania 342,163
Virginia 342,040

Less Domestic Relations Cases than Florida:

State: Caseload:
Ohio 205,293
Georgia 150,303
Illinois 141,703
North Carolina 121,737
Missouri 117,946

Florida Caseload Statistics

There are a few thousand filings with the Florida Supreme Court each fiscal year. In 2007, there were 2,478, and in 2013 there were 2,490. Most years in the last ten have hovered around 2,500 case filings with the court.

Florida Supreme Court

Florida Criminal Caseloads

The number of criminal cases in Florida counts 691,733 with 166,089 felony cases and 525,644 misdemeanors accordingly.

Year Criminal Caseload Misdemeanor Caseload Felony Caseload
2015 739,440 169,287 569,661
2016 692,193 166,089 525,644

State Civil Caseload & Clearance Rates

In the last 5 years the number of civil cases has decreased by 150,123 cases, it went from 884,462 to 734,339 with clearance rates of 99% and 94%.

Year Civil Caseload Clearance Rate
2012 884,462 99
2013 768,943 113
2014 729,615 114
2015 727,816 105
2016 734,339 94