Skip to Main Content Florida Supreme Court
Home Justices Public Information Clerk's Office Oral Arguments On-line Docket Opinions About the Court Search


Public Information

  • High Profile Cases
  • Current OA Calendar
  • Most Recent Opinions


  • Argument Calendar
  • Argument Webcasts
  • Budget Documents
  • Court Documents
  • Court Orders
  • Death Warrant Cases
  • Docket On-Line
  • JQC Cases
  • Merit Retention
  • Opinions & Rules
  • Press Information
  • Press Releases
  • Reporters Handbook
  • Reports & Studies
  • Rules of Court
  • Trial Court Statistics
  • Yearly Schedule


  • About the Court
  • Current Justices
  • Former Justices
  • Historical Information
  • Merit Retention
  • Talking with Justices

  • Watch Oral Arguments Live


    500 S. Duval St.
    Tallahassee FL 32399
    Directions To This Location

    College Internships in this Office

    Florida Supreme Court Seal

    Public Information Banner High Profile Cases Press Releases

    Historical Information
    Certification of the Need for New Judges
    In Florida
    2000 through 2017

    Read the 2017 Certification

    Each year the Supreme Court issues its opinion certifying the need for new judges throughout the State of Florida, an annual requirement imposed upon the Court by the state Constitution. This annual opinion sets the presumed number of new judges that could be created in local counties and circuits. However, the legislature has the final say as to whether new judgeships are created and funded. The authorization for this process is contained in Article V, section 9 of the Florida Constitution.

    For district courts and trial courts, the determination for need is based on a complex calculation of caseloads. The Supreme Court uses a statistical system for determining caseloads that takes into account the differing amounts of time needed in different kinds of cases. More complex kinds of cases receive greater weight under this system than simpler cases.  It is called the "Weighted Caseload System." Thus, the certification is not a statement of what the Supreme Court simply wants, but rather what it has determined is objectively needed using the calculations dictated by the weighted caseload system. More recent developments in the use of this system are discussed in a 2016 Report on the subject.

    For an overview of the district courts system, read the Workload Report and the follow up Review of Case Weights Report.  Also contained in the Workload Report are the DCA Case Weights

    For the trial courts system overview, read the Executive Summary of the Judicial Resource Study Final Report recommending it be used by the Court. A brief Introduction of how it came to be used in Florida also is available along with the full Report.  In addition, the full Report includes the Trial Court Case Weights.

    Read the 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001 and 2000 certification opinions.  Statistics on Legislative Funding of prior certification requests also are available. The Total Numbers of state judges each year starting in 1972 also are available.

    All inquiries about this page:

    Craig Waters, (850) 414-7641,