Last updated: December 13, 2013
It’s natural to feel a little uneasy about going to court. We’ve all heard horror stories about long lines, bad parking, and poor service. FindLaw is here to ease some of the stress about going to court in Fort Myers.
When you go to court in Fort Myers, you will be going to either state court or federal court. The state courts are part of Florida’s 20th Judicial Circuit. Within this Circuit, your case will enter the system in one of two trial level courts: (1) Circuit Court or (2) County Court. The Circuit Court generally may hear all types of cases unless a law specifically states that a County Court must hear it first. County Courts, on the other hand, may only hear civil cases (non-criminal) with $15,000 or less at issue.
The federal court system is simpler, but less frequently used. If you have a federal case that begins in the Fort Myers area, you’ll be in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. This goes for both civil and criminal cases. Not all matters are allowed to proceed in federal court. Talk to an attorney before filing a case in the Middle District. See below for contact information for the courts, links to their sites, and some insider tips.
Enter on either Monroe St. or on MLK Blvd. If you’re planning on going early -- which is generally a good idea -- the facility opens at 7:30. Visitors may pay to park in the lot on the other side of MLK. Jurors may park in the lot at Broadway and Widman. Enter the lot on the Broadway side.
All visitors must enter on First Street and pass through security. You may park across the street at the City of Palms garage. Only park on the streets immediately surrounding the building if it’ll be a quick visit to the courthouse (if there is such a thing). Street parking is limited to 2 hours per day. For more on street parking and nearby garages, see the Fort Myers River District Directory.