Florida Court Records

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Florida courts that kept records of genealogical value were established as follows:

  • 1821-present: Circuit courts in each county have jurisdiction over minor civil cases, probate, equity, guardianship, and felonies for each county.
  • 1822-present: County court judges keep probate, marriage, administration, and guardianship records.
  • 1887-present: Criminal courts have records of criminal cases not punishable by capital punishment.
  • 1915-present: Civil courts exist in counties with populations of more than 100,000. In these counties, the civil court takes the place of the county court.

The State Archives of Florida has microfilm copies of many of the county records and some of the records from higher appeals courts.

You may also obtain copies of the records by contacting the clerk's office in the appropriate county. Florida State Courts web site has lists of the courts with addresses and phone numbers.

The Family History Library has a few Florida court records. From Duval County, for example, the library has circuit court indexes to judgments and satisfactions (1901-23). Do a Place search in the catalog for the county of interest.

For more information about federal court records see Inventory of Federal Archives in the States: Series II. The Federal Courts Number 9 Florida (Jacksonville, Florida: Historical Records Survey, 1940; Family History Library book 975.9 A1 number 133; film 924006, item 7).