Florida Senate - 2018                             CS for SB 1384
       By the Committee on Judiciary; and Senator Brandes
       590-03193-18                                          20181384c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to courts; creating s. 25.025, F.S.;
    3         authorizing certain Supreme Court Justices to have an
    4         appropriate facility in their district of residence
    5         designated as their official headquarters; providing
    6         that an official headquarters may serve only as a
    7         justice’s private chambers; providing that such
    8         justices are eligible for a certain subsistence
    9         allowance and reimbursement for certain transportation
   10         expenses; requiring that such allowance and
   11         reimbursement be made to the extent appropriated funds
   12         are available, as determined by the Chief Justice;
   13         requiring the Chief Justice to coordinate with certain
   14         persons in implementing designations of official
   15         headquarters; providing that a county is not required
   16         to provide space for a justice in a county courthouse;
   17         authorizing counties to enter into agreements with the
   18         Supreme Court for the use of county courthouse space;
   19         prohibiting the Supreme Court from using state funds
   20         to lease space in a facility to allow a justice to
   21         establish an official headquarters; amending s.
   22         26.031, F.S.; adding judges to the Ninth Judicial
   23         Circuit Court; amending s. 34.01, F.S.; increasing the
   24         limit of the amount in controversy in certain actions
   25         at law under which the county court has original
   26         jurisdiction of such actions; providing for
   27         adjustments to the limit at specified intervals due to
   28         inflation or deflation; specifying filing fees,
   29         service charges, and a requirement for the clerk of
   30         court’s remittal of such fees in actions in which the
   31         amount in controversy exceeds a specified amount;
   32         amending s. 34.022, F.S.; adding judges to certain
   33         county courts; providing an effective date.
   35  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   37         Section 1. Section 25.025, Florida Statutes, is created to
   38  read:
   39         25.025 Headquarters.—
   40         (1)(a) A Supreme Court justice who permanently resides
   41  outside Leon County shall, if he or she so requests, have a
   42  district court of appeal courthouse, a county courthouse, or
   43  other appropriate facility in his or her district of residence
   44  designated as his or her official headquarters pursuant to s.
   45  112.061. This official headquarters may serve only as the
   46  justice’s private chambers.
   47         (b)A justice for whom an official headquarters is
   48  designated in his or her district of residence under this
   49  subsection is eligible for subsistence at a rate to be
   50  established by the Chief Justice for each day or partial day
   51  that the justice is at the headquarters of the Supreme Court for
   52  the conduct of the business of the court. In addition to the
   53  subsistence allowance, a justice is eligible for reimbursement
   54  for transportation expenses as provided in s. 112.061(7) for
   55  travel between the justice’s official headquarters and the
   56  headquarters of the Supreme Court for the conduct of the
   57  business of the court.
   58         (c) Payment of subsistence and reimbursement for
   59  transportation expenses relating to travel between a justice’s
   60  official headquarters and the headquarters of the Supreme Court
   61  shall be made to the extent appropriated funds are available, as
   62  determined by the Chief Justice.
   63         (2) The Chief Justice shall coordinate with each affected
   64  justice and other state and local officials as necessary to
   65  implement paragraph (1)(a).
   66         (3)(a)This section does not require a county to provide
   67  space in a county courthouse for a justice. A county may enter
   68  into an agreement with the Supreme Court governing the use of
   69  space in a county courthouse.
   70         (b) The Supreme Court may not use state funds to lease
   71  space in a district court of appeal courthouse, county
   72  courthouse, or other facility to allow a justice to establish an
   73  official headquarters pursuant to subsection (1).
   74         Section 2. Subsection (9) of section 26.031, Florida
   75  Statutes, is amended to read:
   76         26.031 Judicial circuits; number of judges.—The number of
   77  circuit judges in each circuit shall be as follows:
   79  JUDICIAL CIRCUIT                                           TOTAL
   80         (9) Ninth...........................................45 43
   81         Section 3. Section 34.01, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   82  read:
   83         34.01 Jurisdiction of county court.—
   84         (1) County courts shall have original jurisdiction:
   85         (a) In all misdemeanor cases not cognizable by the circuit
   86  courts.;
   87         (b) Of all violations of municipal and county ordinances.;
   88         (c)1. Of all actions at law filed on or before December 31,
   89  2019, in which the matter in controversy does not exceed the sum
   90  of $15,000, exclusive of interest, costs, and attorney
   91  attorney’s fees, except those within the exclusive jurisdiction
   92  of the circuit courts.; and
   93         2. Of all actions at law filed on or after January 1, 2020,
   94  in which the matter in controversy does not exceed the sum of
   95  $50,000, exclusive of interest, costs, and attorney fees, except
   96  those within the exclusive jurisdiction of the circuit courts.
   97  This limit must be adjusted every 5 years after January 1, 2020,
   98  to reflect the rate of inflation or deflation as indicated in
   99  the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, U.S. City
  100  Average, All Items, or successor reports as reported by the
  101  United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,
  102  or its successor. Such adjustments must be rounded to the
  103  nearest $5,000.
  104         (d) Of disputes occurring in the homeowners’ associations
  105  as described in s. 720.311(2)(a), which shall be concurrent with
  106  jurisdiction of the circuit courts.
  108  The party instituting an action at law under subparagraph (c)2.
  109  in which the amount in controversy exceeds $15,000 shall pay the
  110  filing fees and service charges in the same amounts and in the
  111  same manner as provided in s. 28.241, and the party appealing
  112  any judgment on such action shall pay the filing fees and
  113  service charges in the same amounts and in the same manner as
  114  provided in s. 35.22. The clerk of court shall remit the fees as
  115  provided in those sections.
  116         (2) The county courts shall have jurisdiction previously
  117  exercised by county judges’ courts other than that vested in the
  118  circuit court by s. 26.012, except that county court judges may
  119  hear matters involving dissolution of marriage under the
  120  simplified dissolution procedure pursuant to the Florida Family
  121  Law Rules of Procedure or may issue a final order for
  122  dissolution in cases where the matter is uncontested, and the
  123  jurisdiction previously exercised by county courts, the claims
  124  court, small claims courts, small claims magistrates courts,
  125  magistrates courts, justice of the peace courts, municipal
  126  courts, and courts of chartered counties, including but not
  127  limited to the counties referred to in ss. 9, 10, 11, and 24,
  128  Art. VIII of the State Constitution of 1885, as preserved by s.
  129  (6)(e), Art. VIII of the State Constitution of 1968.
  130         (3) Judges of county courts shall also be committing trial
  131  court judges. Judges of county courts shall be coroners unless
  132  otherwise provided by law or by rule of the Supreme Court.
  133         (4) Judges of county courts may hear all matters in equity
  134  involved in any case within the jurisdictional amount of the
  135  county court, except as otherwise restricted by the State
  136  Constitution or the laws of Florida.
  137         (5) A county court is a trial court.
  138         Section 4. Subsections (9), (12), (17), and (28) of section
  139  34.022, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  140         34.022 Number of county court judges for each county.—The
  141  number of county court judges in each county shall be as
  142  follows:
  144  COUNTY                                                     TOTAL
  145         (9) Citrus............................................2 1
  146         (12) Columbia.........................................2 1
  147         (17) Flagler..........................................2 1
  148         (28) Hillsborough...................................19 17
  149         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.