Departments of the Court
Article V, section 3(c) of the Florida Constitution authorizes the Supreme Court to appoint a clerk who holds office at the pleasure of the Court. All papers, records, files, and the seal of the Supreme Court are kept in the custody of the clerk. The clerk receives all documents filed in cases, circulates that material to the Justices, and releases orders and opinions of the Court to the public. The clerk appoints a chief deputy clerk to discharge the duties of the office in the clerk's absence.
Under Article V, section 3(c) of the Florida Constitution, the Supreme Court appoints a marshal to serve at the pleasure of the Court. The marshal has the power to execute the process of the Court throughout the state and to deputize the sheriff or a deputy sheriff of any county to assist in those duties. The Marshal's Office also orders and distributes supplies used by the Justices and their staff, serves as custodian of the Supreme Court Building and grounds, and supervises security for the Court.
In 1996, the Court created its first Public Information Office primarily to handle relations between the Supreme Court and the media. Over time the Office's duties expanded to include general communications with the public, online outreach, and other public outreach programs. Professional associations have recognized the Office as one of the foremost in the nation for effective innovations in the emerging field of court communications.
Early Court records indicate the Supreme Court Library, which is located in the south wing of the Supreme Court Building, has been continuously in existence since 1845. The Library -- the oldest state-supported library in Florida -- primarily exists for legal research. It was originally designed for the use of the Supreme Court and the attorneys who practice before it.
Until the Constitution of 1885 was amended in 1956, the clerk of the Supreme Court also served as librarian. Since 1956, the Supreme Court has had a librarian whose sole responsibility is administering the library.
Law books may be divided into two general classes: primary and secondary sources. Primary sources are court decisions, acts of legislative assemblies, official statutes, rules and regulations of governmental agencies, and similar pronouncements in published form.
Secondary sources are works that attempt to explain, rationalize or discuss specific aspects of the law, or that are aids in the search for primary sources.
The library has been designated a federal depository library for legal materials published by the Government Printing Office. The collections include practically all of the reported decisions of all American courts. In addition to the 50 states, the library has reports for courts of the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Panama Canal Zone, England, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and Scotland. The library also has current statute law for all 50 states plus the United Kingdom and Canada. In addition, the Supreme Court Library houses many historical documents related to the development of the Florida Supreme Court and the Florida Constitution. These include a number of rare books that detail the development of Florida law.
The library occupies floor space on five levels of the Supreme Court Building. It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and it is closed on holidays when the Supreme Court Building is closed.
The purpose of the OIG is to provide a central point for coordination of, and responsibility for, activities that promote accountability, integrity, and efficiency in the State Courts System. The goal of the OIG is to proactively perform engagements designed to add value and improve the programs and operations of the State Courts System.
On July 1, 1972, the Office of the State Courts Administrator (OSCA) was created with initial emphasis on the development of a uniform case reporting system to provide information on activity in the judiciary in the preparation of its operating budget and in projecting the need for judges and specialized court divisions. The State Courts Administrator serves as the liaison between the judicial branch and the legislative branch, the executive branch, the auxiliary agencies of the Court, and national court research and planning agencies. The OSCA's legislative and communication functions are handled directly by the State Courts Administrator and his or her executive staff.