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Overview of Florida's Court System

Florida's judicial system is divided into three levels of authority. Trial courts that make up the first level are divided into two categories: county courts and circuit courts. There are county courts in each of Florida's 67 counties, and typically handle matters like traffic offenses, misdemeanors, and small claims disputes.

The circuit courts are where most civil and criminal matters originate. Circuit courts also handle appeals from the county courts.

The Florida District Courts of Appeal make up the second level. As the state's primary intermediate appellate institutions, the five Courts of Appeal hold jurisdiction over most appeals from circuit courts.

The Florida Supreme Court is the highest court in the state. Its has authority over death penalty cases, and can take on other appeals cases as it sees fit.

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