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State Laws

Tampa Courthouses

Last updated: October 21, 2013

Tampa is growing, and there are bound to be some growing pains. People are flocking to Cigar City, and for good reason. We're developing a reputation for being a great place for adults under 40, and there's an outdoor culture that encourages a healthy lifestyle. But you can bet that with that mix of young people, new commerce, and physical activity, there's going to be a lot more legal activity as well. You may find yourself going to court, and this guide to our courts will help you take care of business.

Throughout most of the United States, you will find at least two court systems everywhere you go: state court and federal court. Tampa and the State of Florida are no different. In the state's system, state courts in Florida are divided into judicial circuits which may hear any case not specifically reserved for federal courts. 

Tampa and Hillsborough County make up Florida's Thirteenth Judicial Circuit. Within each judicial circuit, there are courts of two different levels: (1) Circuit Courts, and (2) County Courts. The difference between the two is that County Courts tend to handle cases that are relatively minor. See the State's diagram of court jurisdiction for further illustration. In the federal system, the trial-level courts are divided amongst "districts," and Tampa sits in the Middle District of Florida. A case must qualify to be heard in federal court. See a Tampa attorney for details.