About Our Circuit
The Fourteenth Judicial Circuit, comprised of Bay, Calhoun, Holmes, Gulf, Jackson, and Washington Counties, is one of 20 circuit courts carved from Florida's 67 counties. The Fourteenth circuit serves a total population of more than 250,000 people and spans a geographic area of approximately 4,400 square miles.
There are 20 active judges in the circuit, 11 circuit judges and 9 county judges, with a staff of approximately 80 county and state employees. The 20 judges of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit bring more than 150 years of judicial experience to the bench.
Judges are elected to six-year terms. The Chief Judge is responsible for the overall administration of the circuit and is elected every two years by the judges of the circuit.
The circuit court is a court of general jurisdiction and handles probate matters, all civil actions in which the amount in controversy exceeds $15,000, and felony cases, which involve criminal offenses punishable by more than a year in state prison. Circuit courts also hear cases such as domestic relations (including divorces, child custody, and injunctions for protection), juvenile proceedings, and petitions for writs. In addition to trial matters, the circuit court hears appeals from county court.
The county court is a limited jurisdiction court which hears misdemeanors (criminal offenses punishable by up to one year in county jail), violations of county and municipal ordinances, traffic matters, and all civil actions in which the amount in controversy does not exceed $15,000. In addition, county court hears all landlord and tenant proceedings relating to the right of possession.