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State Laws

Miami Courthouses

Last updated: October 17, 2013

Bienvenidos a Miami! Over five million people live in this sprawling city on Biscayne Bay, but Miami is more than a spring break destination. Located on the southern tip of Florida, Miami is the gateway to the Caribbean; locals know you have to experience the Cuban-American fusion of cuisine and music to understand our culture. Also, it is generally understood that some individuals prefer Miami to Cleveland. Much as we’d like to think otherwise, however, all is not always rosy in our town. Disputes arise, and when they do, we may need to turn to (or end up at!) one of the many Miami courts to address the problem.

The Florida court system is generally divided between big-time Circuit Court and small-time County Court on the trial level. A Circuit Court typically handles felonies and large civil actions, while a County Court handles misdemeanors and smaller lawsuits.

The Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida primarily handles civil cases where the amount in controversy is greater than $15,000 and felony criminal cases arising from Miami-Dade County. The Eleventh Judicial Circuit has four main courthouses, the Richard E. Gerstein Building, the Miami-Dade County Courthouse, the Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse and the Juvenile Justice Center.