State of Florida Takes Over Circuit Court System

Whether you're filing a civil lawsuit like that one, filing for divorce or paying a speeding ticket, it'll cost more as the state of Florida Thursday took over the Circuit Court System.

Court employees are celebrating as the state takes over funding circuit courts all over the state, but they're not cheering the change; they're cheering the fact that they still have jobs.

"During certain periods, it looked bleak for the state court system. It looked like we weren't going to have a lot of resources or a lot of funding and we would have to lay off a lot of staff. We're just very happy to be here today,” explains Grant Slayden, Court Administrator.

A constitutional amendment passed by Florida voters in 1998 ushered in this change, in hopes of helping small counties, but the big question mark ever since has been whether the state would adequately fund any circuit.

In Tallahassee, so far so good.

"We were all very concerned because every state that has transferred from local to state funding has had major disruptions and I don't think we will,” Judge Charles Francis says.

All citizens are likely to notice are higher fees.

The cost of a marriage license in Leon County just went up $5, but getting divorced is going to cost you. Filing costs for that have more than doubled.

Starting Thursday, just about every court fee in our six-county circuit has gone up, from paying speeding fines to recording real estate transactions.