Rule 9.030. Jurisdiction Of Courts

(a) Jurisdiction of Supreme Court.

(1) Appeal Jurisdiction.

(A) The supreme court shall review, by appeal

(i) final orders of courts imposing sentences of death;1

(ii) decisions of district courts of appeal declaring invalid a state statute or a provision of the state constitution.2

(B) If provided by general law, the supreme court shall review

(i) by appeal final orders entered in proceedings for the validation of bonds or certificates of indebtedness;3

(ii) action of statewide agencies relating to rates or service of utilities providing electric, gas, or telephone service.4

(2) Discretionary Jurisdiction. The discretionary jurisdiction of the supreme court may be sought to review

(A) decisions of district courts of appeal that5

(i) expressly declare valid a state statute;

(ii) expressly construe a provision of the state or federal constitution;

(iii) expressly affect a class of constitutional or state officers;

(iv) expressly and directly conflict with a decision of another district court of appeal or of the supreme court on the same question of law;

(v) pass upon a question certified to be of great public importance;

(vi) are certified to be in direct conflict with decisions of other district courts of appeal;

(B) orders and judgments of trial courts certified by the district court of appeal in which the appeal is pending to require immediate resolution by the supreme court, and6

(i) to be of great public importance, or

(ii) to have a great effect on the proper administration of justice;

(C) questions of law certified by the Supreme Court of the United States or a United States court of appeals that are determinative of the cause of action and for which there is no controlling precedent of the Supreme Court of Florida.7

(3) Original Jurisdiction. The supreme court may issue writs of prohibition to courts and all writs necessary to the complete exercise of its jurisdiction, and may issue writs of mandamus and quo warranto to state officers and state agencies. The supreme court or any justice may issue writs of habeas corpus returnable before the supreme court or any justice, a district court of appeal or any judge thereof, or any circuit judge.8

(b) Jurisdiction of District Courts of Appeal.

(1) Appeal Jurisdiction. District courts of appeal shall review, by appeal

(A) final orders of trial courts,1, 2 not directly reviewable by the supreme court or a circuit court, including county court final orders declaring invalid a state statute or provision of the state constitution;

(B) non-final orders of circuit courts as prescribed by rule 9.130;9

(C) administrative action if provided by general law.2

(2) Certiorari Jurisdiction.8 The certiorari jurisdiction of district courts of appeal may be sought to review

(A) non-final orders of lower tribunals other than as prescribed by rule 9.130;

(B) final orders of circuit courts acting in their review capacity.

(3) Original Jurisdiction.8 District courts of appeal may issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, and common law certiorari, and all writs necessary to the complete exercise of the courts’ jurisdiction; or any judge thereof may issue writs of habeas corpus returnable before the court or any judge thereof, or before any circuit judge within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.

(4) Discretionary Review.10 District courts of appeal, in their discretion, may review by appeal

(A) final orders of the county court, otherwise appealable to the circuit court under these rules, that the county court has certified to be of great public importance;

(B) non-final orders, otherwise appealable to the circuit court under rule 9.140(c), that the county court has certified to be of great public importance.

(c) Jurisdiction of Circuit Courts.

(1) Appeal Jurisdiction. The circuit courts shall review, by appeal

(A) final orders of lower tribunals as provided by general law;1. 2

(B) non-final orders of lower tribunals as provided by general law;

(C) administrative action if provided by general law.

(2) Certiorari Jurisdiction.8 The certiorari jurisdiction of circuit courts may be sought to review non-final orders of lower tribunals other than as prescribed by rule 9.130.

(3) Original Jurisdiction.8 Circuit courts may issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, common law certiorari, and habeas corpus, and all writs necessary to the complete exercise of the courts’ jurisdiction.

1. 9.140: Appeal Proceedings in Criminal Cases.
2. 9.110: Appeal Proceedings: Final Orders.
3. 9.110(i): Validation of Bonds.
4. 9.110: Appeal Proceedings: Final Orders; 9.100: Original Proceedings.
5. 9.120: Discretionary Review of District Court Decisions.
6. 9.125: Discretionary Review of Trial Court Orders and Judgments Certified by the District Court.
7. 9.150: Certified Questions from Federal Courts.
8. 9.100: Original Proceedings.
9. 9.130: Appeal Proceedings: Non-Final Orders.
10. 9.160: Discretionary Review of County Court Decisions.

Committee Notes

      1977 Amendment. This rule replaces former rules 2.1(a)(5) and 2.2(a)(4). It sets forth the jurisdiction of the supreme court, district courts of appeal, and that portion of the jurisdiction of the circuit courts to which these rules apply. It paraphrases sections 3(b), 4(b), and, in relevant part, 5(b) of article V of the Florida Constitution. The items stating the certiorari jurisdiction of the supreme court and district courts of appeal refer to the constitutional jurisdiction popularly known as the “constitutional certiorari” jurisdiction of the supreme court and “common law certiorari” jurisdiction of the district courts of appeal. This rule is not intended to affect the substantive law governing the jurisdiction of any court and should not be considered as authority for the resolution of disputes concerning any court’s jurisdiction. Its purpose is to provide a tool of reference to the practitioner so that ready reference may be made to the specific procedural rule or rules governing a particular proceeding. Footnote references have been made to the rule or rules governing proceedings invoking the listed areas of jurisdiction.

This rule does not set forth the basis for the issuance of advisory opinions by the supreme court to the governor because the power to advise rests with the justices under article IV, section 1(c), Florida Constitution, and not the supreme court as a body. The procedure governing requests from the governor for advice are set forth in rule 9.500.

The advisory committee considered and rejected as unwise a proposal to permit the chief judge of each judicial circuit to modify the applicability of these rules to that particular circuit. These rules may be modified in a particular case, of course, by an agreed joint motion of the parties granted by the court so long as the change does not affect jurisdiction.

      1980 Amendment. Subdivision (a) of this rule has been extensively revised to reflect the constitutional modifications in the supreme court’s jurisdiction as approved by the electorate on March 11, 1980. See art. V, § 3(b), Fla. Const. (1980). The impetus for these modifications was a burgeoning caseload and the attendant need to make more efficient use of limited appellate resources. Consistent with this purpose, revised subdivision (a) limits the supreme court’s appellate, discretionary, and original jurisdiction to cases that substantially affect the law of the state. The district courts of appeal will constitute the courts of last resort for the vast majority of litigants under amended article V.

Subdivision (a)(1)(A)(i) retains the mandatory appellate jurisdiction of the supreme court to review final orders of trial courts imposing death sentences.

Subdivision (a)(1)(A)(ii) has been substantively changed in accordance with amended article V, section 3(b)(1), Florida Constitution (1980), to eliminate the court’s mandatory appellate review of final orders of trial courts and decisions of district courts of appeal initially and directly passing on the validity of a state statute or a federal statute or treaty, or construing a provision of the state or federal constitution. Mandatory supreme court review under this subdivision is now limited to district court decisions “declaring invalid” a state statute or a provision of the state constitution. Jurisdiction to review final orders of trial courts in all instances enumerated in former subdivision (a)(1)(A)(ii) now reposes in the appropriate district court of appeal.

Revised subdivision (a)(1)(B) enumerates the 2 classes of cases that the supreme court may review if provided by general law. See art. V, § 3(b)(2), Fla. Const. (1980). Eliminated from the amended article V and rule is the legislative authority, never exercised, to require supreme court review of trial court orders imposing sentences of life imprisonment.

Subdivision (a)(1)(B)(i), pertaining to bond validation proceedings, replaces former subdivision (a)(1)(B)(ii). Its phraseology remains unchanged. Enabling legislation already exists for supreme court review of bond validation proceedings. See § 75.08, Fla. Stat. (1979).

Subdivision (a)(1)(B)(ii) is new. See art. V, § 3(b)(2), Fla. Const. (1980). Under the earlier constitutional scheme, the supreme court was vested with certiorari jurisdiction (which in practice was always exercised) to review orders of “commissions established by general law having statewide jurisdiction,” including orders of the Florida Public Service Commission. See art. V, § 3(b)(3), Fla. Const. (1968); § 350.641, Fla. Stat. (1979). This jurisdiction has been abolished. In its stead, amended article V limits the supreme court’s review of Public Service Commission orders to those “relating to rates or services of utilities providing electric, gas, or telephone service.” Enabling legislation will be required to effectuate this jurisdiction. Review of Public Service Commission orders other than those relating to electric, gas, or utility cases now reposes in the appropriate district court of appeal. See art. V, § 4(b)(2), Fla. Const. (1968); Fla. R. App. P. 9.030(b)(1)(C); and § 120.68(2), Fla. Stat. (1979).

Subdivision (a)(2) has been substantially revised in accordance with amended article V, section 3(b)(3), Florida Constitution (1980), to restrict the scope of review under the supreme court’s discretionary jurisdiction. Under the earlier constitution, this jurisdiction was exercised by writ of certiorari. Constitutional certiorari is abolished under amended article V. Reflecting this change, revised subdivision (a)(2) of this rule substitutes the phrase “discretionary jurisdiction” for “certiorari jurisdiction” in the predecessor rule. This discretionary jurisdiction is restricted, moreover, to 6 designated categories of district court decisions, discussed below. Amended article V eliminates the supreme court’s discretionary power to review “any interlocutory order passing upon a matter which upon final judgment would be directly appealable to the Supreme Court” as reflected in subdivision (a)(2)(B) of the predecessor rule. It also eliminates the supreme court’s certiorari review of “commissions established by general law having statewide jurisdiction” as reflected in subdivision (a)(2)(C) of the predecessor rule. Subdivision (a)(2)(A) specifies the 6 categories of district court decisions reviewable by the supreme court under its discretionary jurisdiction.

Subdivisions (a)(2)(A)(i) and (a)(2)(A)(ii) are new and pertain to matters formerly reviewable under the court’s mandatory appellate jurisdiction. Under former rule 9.030(a)(1)(A)(ii), the supreme court’s mandatory appellate jurisdiction could be invoked if a lower tribunal “inherently” declared a statute valid. See Harrell’s Candy Kitchen, Inc. v. Sarasota-Manatee Airport Auth., 111 So. 2d 439 (Fla. 1959). The 1980 amendments to article V and this subdivision require a district court to “expressly declare” a state statute valid before the supreme court’s discretionary jurisdiction may be invoked.

Subdivision (a)(2)(A)(iii), pertaining to supreme court review of district court decisions affecting a class of constitutional or state officers, has been renumbered. It tracks the language of the predecessor constitution and rule, with the addition of the restrictive word “expressly” found in amended article V.

Subdivision (a)(2)(A)(iv) represents the most radical change in the supreme court’s discretionary jurisdiction. The predecessor article V vested the supreme court with power to review district court decisions “in direct conflict with a decision of any district court of appeal or of the Supreme Court on the same point of law.” These cases comprised the overwhelming bulk of the court’s caseload and gave rise to an intricate body of case law interpreting the requirements for discretionary conflict review. With the enunciation of the “record proper rule” in Foley v. Weaver Drugs, Inc., 177 So. 2d 221 (Fla. 1965), the supreme court extended its discretionary review in instances of discernible conflict to district court decisions affirming without opinion the orders of trial courts. Amended article V abolishes the Foley doctrine by requiring an “express” as well as a “direct” conflict of district court decisions as a prerequisite to supreme court review. The new article also terminates supreme court jurisdiction over purely intradistrict conflicts, the resolution of which is addressed in rule 9.331.

Subdivision (a)(2)(A)(v) substitutes the phrase “great public importance” for “great public interest” in the predecessor constitution and rule. The change was to recognize the fact that some legal issues may have “great public importance,” but may not be sufficiently known by the public to have “great public interest.”

Subdivision (a)(2)(A)(vi) is new and tracks the language of article V, section 3(b)(4), Florida Constitution (1980).

Subdivisions (a)(2)(B) and (a)(2)(C) are new. See art. V, §§ 3(b)(5), (3)(b)(6), Fla. Const. (1980). Certification procedures under these subdivisions are addressed in rule 9.125 and rule 9.150, respectively.

Subdivision (a)(3) is identical to the predecessor article V and rule, except it limits the issuance of writs of prohibition to “courts” rather than “courts and commissions” and limits the issuance of writs of mandamus and quo warranto to “state agencies” rather than “agencies.”

      1984 Amendment. Subdivision (b)(4) was added to implement legislation authorizing district courts of appeal discretion to review by appeal orders and judgments of county courts certified to be of great public importance.

      1992 Amendment. Subdivision (c)(1)(B) was amended to reflect correctly that the appellate jurisdiction of circuit courts extended to all non-final orders of lower tribunals as prescribed by rule 9.130, and not only those defined in subdivision (a)(3) of that rule.

Subdivision (c)(1)(C) was amended to reflect the jurisdiction conferred on circuit courts by article V, section 5, Florida Constitution, which provides that “[t]hey shall have the power of direct review of administrative action prescribed by general law.”

       2000 Amendment. Subdivision (c)(1)(B) was amended to reflect that the appellate jurisdiction of circuit courts is prescribed by general law and not by rule 9.130, as clarified in Blore v. Fierro, 636 So. 2d 1329 (Fla. 1994).

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