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Divisions

The Middle District of Florida has five divisions: Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Ocala, Orlando, and Tampa. Each division has its own courthouse and clerk's office. The rules on where to file a civil case, where a criminal case will be docketed, the circumstances under which the court may transfer a case to another division, and the counties in each division follow.

Division Counties Served
Fort Myers Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee
Jacksonville Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Flagler, Hamilton, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Suwannee, Union
Ocala Citrus, Lake, Marion, Sumter
Orlando Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Volusia
Tampa Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota

Civil Cases
Under Local Rule 1.02(c):

"All civil proceedings of any kind shall be instituted in that Division encompassing the county or counties having the greatest nexus with the cause, giving due regard to the place where the claim arose and the residence or principal place of business of the parties."

Criminal Cases
Under Local Rule 1.02(d):

"All criminal proceedings of any kind shall be docketed and tried in that Division encompassing the county or counties in which the alleged offense or offenses were committed; provided, however, an indictment returned in any Division shall be valid regardless of the county or counties within the District in which the alleged offense or offenses were committed."

Transfer
Under Local Rule 1.02(e):

"The Court may, within its discretion, or upon good cause shown by any interested party, order that any case, civil or criminal, be transferred from one Division to any other Division for trial, or from one place of holding court to another place of holding court in the same Division."