History of the Fourth District Court of Appeal
The Supreme Court of Florida served as the sole appellate court in the state from 1845 until 1956.
Article V of the Florida Constitution established three district courts of appeal in 1956:
- The First District in Tallahassee
- The Second in Lakeland
- The Third in Miami
In response to the rising number of appeals, the Legislature created the Fourth District Court of Appeal in 1965, placing it in Vero Beach. Initially covering Orange and Brevard counties in the north through Broward County in the south, the Fourth District was later relocated to West Palm Beach in 1967, finding a permanent home at 1525 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard in 1970.
As Florida’s population and appellate cases increased, the Legislature further divided parts of the First, Second, and Fourth Districts to establish the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach in 1979.
This change reduced the geographic area covered by the Fourth District, which now handles appeals from the Fifteenth, Seventeenth, and Nineteenth Judicial Circuits, encompassing Palm Beach, Broward, St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River, and Okeechobee Counties. The court’s boundaries remained unchanged with the opening of the Sixth District Court of Appeal in 2023.
From its inception in 1965 with three appellate judges, the Fourth District Court of Appeal has grown to twelve judges as of 2022, reflecting an increase in workload from 480 cases to around 3,700. On January 2, 2018, the Fourth District moved to its current location at 110 South Tamarind Ave. in downtown West Palm Beach.
- Chief Judge Mark W. Klingensmith
- Judge Martha C. Warner
- Judge Robert M. Gross
- Judge Melanie G. May
- Judge Dorian K. Damoorgian
- Judge Cory J. Ciklin
- Judge Jonathan D. Gerber
- Judge Spencer D. Levine
- Judge Burton C. Conner
- Judge Alan O. Forst
- Judge Jeffrey T. Kuntz
- Judge Ed Artau
Location & Contact Information
110 South Tamarind Ave.,
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Phone: (561) 242-2000