This summer, the Florida Legislature enacted legislation that created a new Sixth District Court of Appeal, which will begin operating on January 1, 2023. The Sixth DCA will have jurisdiction over cases from the Ninth (Orlando area), Tenth (Lakeland area), and Twentieth (Fort Myers/Naples area) Judicial Circuits, and will have its headquarters in Lakeland.
There will be nine judges on the new Sixth DCA, making it the smallest District Court of Appeal in Florida. Judge Meredith Sasso, currently a judge at the Fifth DCA, will be the chief judge of the Sixth DCA. Four other judges currently serving on the Fifth DCA will join the Sixth DCA, as will one judge currently from the Second DCA. The legislation forming the new Sixth DCA also allowed for the creation of three new judge positions for the new court.
The legislation creating the Sixth DCA also will move the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Jacksonville Area) into the Fifth DCA, and created four new judgeships in the Fifth DCA.
On January 1st at 12:01 a.m., any pending appellate case that originated from the Ninth, Tenth, or Twentieth Circuit will be transferred to the Sixth DCA, and any pending appellate case from the Fourth Circuit will be transferred to the Fifth DCA. Also beginning on January 1st, any new appeal originating from these circuits must be filed in the appropriate realigned district.