When Florida became a State the role of the federal government was diminished and the state courts followed the basic organization created during the Territorial Period with four circuit or superior court districts in place. Until 1850 Florida’s highest court, the Supreme Court, constituted the judges of each district. In 1851, an act was passed that gave the Supreme Court a Chief Justice and two Associate Justices, separate from the circuit judges. The legislature selected a judge and solicitor for each of Florida’s four superior or circuit courts.
In 1868, the circuit courts were briefly divided into seven judicial circuits. Polk became part of the sixth judicial circuit. In 1870 the number of circuits was reduced by legislative amendment to five. The Constitution of 1885 bumped the number of circuits back to seven, and in 1902 an eighth district was created.
A newly adopted constitutional amendment approved by a statewide vote in 1910 gave the legislature the authority to establish judicial circuits as it deemed advisable. And in 1911, the legislature established 11 circuit courts, with one judge assigned to each. Polk became part of the tenth judicial circuit.