County Court Jurisdiction Changes
On January 1, 2020, changes in Florida state law and the Florida Rules of Procedure will go into effect, changing where a variety of court actions are heard.
- County court jurisdictional thresholds increase to $30,000 on January 1, 2020.
- Small claims cases as of January 1, 2020, will include amounts in dispute up to $8,000.
- Filers will be required to include a civil cover sheet specifying the dollar amount in dispute in cases exceeding $8,000 in value.
- The new law maintains current rules that limit the provision of subsidized court mediation services to county court cases with an amount in controversy up to $15,000.
- State law provides that on January 1, 2020, appeals of county court orders or judgments with an amount in controversy greater than $15,000 will be heard by the district courts of appeal until January 1, 2023, when the provision repeals.
The Circuit Civil Division hears cases with damages in excess of $30,000 filed by an individual, business or government agency. The Circuit Civil Division has jurisdiction over a broad category of cases, including foreclosures, tort actions, contract disputes, products liability issues, malpractice matters, and infringements of intellectual property. Twenty five circuit judges and one general magistrate are assigned to hear cases in the Circuit Civil Division. Nineteen judges preside over regular Circuit Civil sections; two division judges preside over Complex Business Litigation (Sections 43 and 44), with the administrative judge serving as back-up. One division judge is assigned to a Back-up Division 59 which hears the longer, complex, multi-issue, multi-party and multi-attorney jury trials assigned to them by the Administrative Judge. The judges and support personnel of this division are located at the Dade County Courthouse.
The Complex Business Litigation Division was created in 2006 to address the overwhelming number of complex business cases filed in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit. The purpose of the division is to promote the orderly and efficient disposition of complex business matters. The Division consists of support staff, case manager, court clerk and legal staff, two dedicated judges and a backup judge.
The ICA Court was created in response to a heightened demand for an alternative forum for resolving international disputes involving commercial transactions, and was the result of a collaborative effort among international law firms, the Florida Bar, the Florida legislature, the business community and the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida.
Foreclosure is the enforcement of a mortgage lien by judicial sale of the property. A mortgage lien is created when there is a loan contract for money borrowed under a note. This loan is secured by the mortgage lien upon real property. When the debt is not paid according to the loan contract terms, or when other contract terms are violated, the lender can pursue its lien on the property.
Historically, with the exception of cases that qualify as Complex Business Litigation, case management techniques are customized to each judge’s specification and requirements in circuit civil cases. Division Judges have individual trial calendars, individual motion calendars, and special set hearing times.
County Civil Judges have jurisdiction over Contract and Indebtedness cases up to $30,000, Landlord Tenant/Eviction cases, Small Claims and debt collection cases (amounts up to $8,000), Auto negligence, Condominium and Personal Injury Protection cases $8,001 to $30,000. Judicial caseloads include: water damage remediation cases, declaratory judgment actions, complex commercial litigation, cases of statutory construction, post-judgment issues including garnishments and sanctions, voluminous discovery motions, evidentiary hearings on issues of expert testimony and applying standards set by the Florida Supreme Court and legislature.
The County Judges assigned to this division preside over civil matters at seven different court locations in Miami-Dade County, including the Dade County Courthouse. Coral Gables Courthouse, North Dade Justice Center, South Dade Government Center, Hialeah, Joseph Caleb Center and Miami Beach Branch Courts.
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