The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, a federal court in the Eleventh Circuit, consists of several Divisions. The Divisions are located in Ft. Myers, Jacksonville, Ocala, Orlando, and Tampa. Each Division covers several Florida Counties, and all Divisions together cover 35 of the 67 Counties in Florida. For example, even though the Tampa Division is based in Hillsborough County, the Tampa Division also serves the following Counties: Hardee, Hernando, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota.
Local Rule 1.02(c) provides that “[a]ll 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.” Because each Division encompasses multiple Counties, figuring out where to file a civil case can sometimes take more time than it should. Fortunately, the Middle District of Florida’s website includes a handy “where to file” application. Simply type in the name of the Florida City or select the Florida County applicable to your civil case, click submit, and the application will tell you the Division where to file your case. The application is available at the following link: http://apps.flmd.uscourts.gov/WhereToFile/whereToFile.cfm
Joel Ewusiak frequently serves as lead counsel, co-counsel, and local counsel for civil cases filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Please contact Joel for legal assistance with your specific matter.