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Examining the Work of State Courts, 1995: A National Perspective From the State Court Statistics Project

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1996
This report analyzes the workload of State trial and appellate courts, based on data from the Court Statistics Project's national databases.

The analysis revealed that 86 million new cases were filed in State courts in 1995, including nearly 20 million civil and domestic relations cases, more than 13 million criminal cases, and almost 2 million juvenile cases. The remaining caseload consists of approximately 51 million traffic and ordinance violations. Between 1984 and 1995, civil cases increased 28 percent, criminal caseloads increased 38 percent, juvenile caseloads increased 55 percent, and domestic relations caseloads increased 70 percent, although the total population increased approximately 10 percent over the same time period. Traffic caseloads declined by 20 percent between 1990 and 1994, because less serious traffic cases are increasingly being decriminalized or transferred to an executive branch agency. Clearance rates were below 100 percent in approximately two-thirds of the States. Tort filings decreased 9 percent from 1990 to 1993 and have remained stable for the past 2 years. The percentage of juvenile cases referred to the juvenile courts has increased from 51 percent of cases in 1972 to 63 percent in 1994. The number of appellate filings increased 5 percent form 1994 to 1995. Figures, tables, analysis of workload measures, and appended methodological information and lists of sources

Date Published: January 1, 1996