Court-Related Expenditures

The current funding structure for the state court system was adopted by voters in 1998 as Revision 7, amending Article V, Section 14 of the Florida Constitution. The revision declares that the state is responsible for funding certain aspects of the state court system, including salaries for judges, state attorneys, public defenders, and court appointed counsel. These changes also assert that counties would be responsible for funding court facilities, maintenance, utilities, security, and certain communications services.
In FY 2017, Court-Related expenditures accounted for 2.13% of all statewide expenditures for Florida’s counties, the smallest expenditure category. The statewide average percentage share was equal to 2.97%, when comparing Court-Related expenses to all expenditures on a county-by-county basis. The total per capita spending for Court-Related expenditures was equal to $45.87 per person statewide.

The majority of Court-Related spending was concentrated within three expenditure categories statewide: General Court Operations, Circuit Courts, General Court Administration expenditures. These three categories accounted for about 84% of total Court-Related spending, $38.33 in per capita expenditures for FY 2017.

Nearly two-fifths of all Court-Related expenditures (38.06%) were spent on General Court Operations. The total per capita spending for General Court Operations expenditures was $17.46. General Court Operations expenditures account for all costs associated with: Courthouse Security, Courthouse Facilities, Information Systems, Public Law Library, Legal Aid, Clerk of Court-Related Technology, and Other Costs.
Circuit Court expenditures accounted for the second highest expenditure category at 24.14%, while General Court Administration expenditures followed at 21.36% of statewide CourtRelated expenditures. The total per capita spending for Circuit Court expenditures was $11.08 and $9.80 for General Court Administration expenditures. Circuit Court expenditures include all costs associated with Criminal, Civil, Family, Juvenile, and Probate circuit courts.

The expenditure category of County Court spending accounts for 16.44% of the total Court-Related expenditures. The total per capita spending for County Courts was $7.54. County Court expenditures account for all costs associated with Criminal, Civil, and Traffic County Courts.
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