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Citizen's Web Guide to the Courts
This section of our web site is an overview of the Florida Court System prepared by the Administrative Office of the Courts, Twentieth Judicial Circuit. This booklet is designed to introduce the citizen to the Florida Court System in general and the Twentieth Judicial Circuit in particular. The Twentieth Circuit includes a five county area consisting of Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee Counties. At the time of printing, the Twentieth Judicial Circuit is served by twenty-four circuit judges and fourteen county court judges. The Administrative Office of the Courts is responsible for non-judicial affairs of the courts such as budget planning, assignment and distribution of cases and the supervision and administration of programs in support of the Court. Trial courts are generally open to the public Monday through Friday except on holidays. Visitors are welcome, large groups should contact the Administrative Office of the Courts at least two week in advance to arrange for a tour.
Visitors are also welcome in the District Court of Appeals and the Florida Supreme Court. Appellate court schedules differ from those of trial courts. Information about these courts should be obtained from the clerk of the particular court before any visit.
Florida State Courts System
Our circuit and county courts are part of the Florida State Courts system, created in 1972 with the adoption of Article V of the Florida Constitution. Article V established a four tiered judicial system. The top two tiers are appellate courts (the Florida Supreme Court and five District Courts of Appeal), which review the decisions of the courts below them. The third and fourth tiers (circuit and county courts) are primary trial courts.