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Review of the Efficiency of the Two-Tiered Trial Court System and the Process for Certifying Judges

NCJ Number
Date Published
12 pages
This document studies the judicial efficiency and cost- effectiveness of Florida's two-tiered trial court system and the jurisdictional distinctions between county and circuit courts.
The study also examines alternatives such as full- or part-time magistrates for small claims and civil traffic infractions; changes in jurisdiction; unified trial court system; and the State case reporting system used by the Florida Supreme Court, to determine judicial workload. The study found that: (1) the process used to establish the need for additional judges does not accurately identify where and when they are needed; (2) using a weighted caseload system could improve the determination of judicial workload and the need for additional judicial resources such as judges and hearing officers; (3) Florida constitutional provisions limit the efficient assignment of county judges; and (4) amending the Florida Constitution to allow assignment of county judges as needed to circuit courts would be better for improving court efficiency than implementing a unified court system. Figure, tables, note, appendixes