Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $584,762)
The purpose of the Census of State Courts (CSC) is to compile a comprehensive list of all courts operating in the United States and to collect pertinent information regarding the staffing, administrative operations, and jurisdictional purview of those courts. The information contained with the State Court Organization (SCO), and its state court structure charts, together create a critical resource to inform consumers of court data and the public about state courts.
The primary activities of this project include consultation of a panel of subject matter experts to develop, test, and implement an electronic data collection tool and field the CSC to create a resource on how state courts are organized and administered. This project entails verifying, cleaning, and analyzing the data for dissemination to the public.
To accomplish these goals, NCSC will partner with the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) and the National Association for Court Management (NACM). This collaboration will ensure more accurate data and increase participation in the CSC. Members of these associations will also serve as subject matter experts in the development and refinement of the electronic data collection tool.
The expected outcome of this project includes a comprehensive list of limited and general jurisdiction trial courts and appellate courts along with relevant information about the staffing and cases under state courts’ jurisdiction. This project will also produce an updated frame of all state courts which can be used to better understand state courts. The information collected for the CSC will benefit judges, court administrators, federal and state policymakers, researchers, journalists, and the public and result in useful insights that inform policy, budgetary, and court management decisions about state courts.