NEW YEAR, NEW COURTS-FLORIDA’S COUNTY COURTS TO COMMENCE HANDLING MATTERS WITH HIGHER VALUE EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2020
Effective January 1, 2020, Florida’s county courts shall have jurisdiction of matters in controversy that do not exceed the sum of $30,000, exclusive of interest, costs, and attorney fees, and except those within the exclusive jurisdiction of the circuit courts. The jurisdictional amount will increase to $50,000 effective January 1, 2023.
This change is expected to significantly impact the county court judges’ caseload and raises concerns as to whether the county courts, which in Miami-Dade County mostly have courtrooms smaller than those in circuit court, will be able to effectively manage the increased volume. Therefore, the new law requires the Office of the State Courts Administrator to submit a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, by February 1, 2021, regarding the adjustment of county court jurisdiction which will include, consideration of the claim value of filings in county court and circuit court, case events, timeliness in processing cases, and any fiscal impact to the state as a result of the adjusted jurisdictional limits. The clerks of the circuit and county courts will also be required to provide claim value data and necessary case event data to the Office to be used in development of the report. The report will also include a review of fees to ensure that the court system is adequately funded and a review of the appellate jurisdiction of the district courts and the circuit courts.
Plaintiffs will also notice a change in the filing fees for all claims of more than $15,000, which will be $395.00 effective January 1, 2020.