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.
History of Florida Court Records
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 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.
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.
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.