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Examining the Work of State Courts, 1993: A National Perspective From the State Courts Project

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1995
This document provides a comprehensive analysis of the business of State trial and appellate courts.

The National Center for State Courts' Court Statistics Project translates diverse State court caseload statistics into a common framework to analyze and identify national trends in court activities. State courts received 90 million new cases in 1993, including approximately 20 million civil and domestic relations cases, 13 million criminal cases, 2 million juvenile cases, and 55 million traffic and ordinance violations. Total civil and criminal case filings dropped slightly from the 1992 figure; however, over the past 10 years, civil and criminal caseloads rose 30 percent, juvenile caseloads rose 40 percent, and domestic relations caseloads rose 60 percent. The most rapid growth in domestic relations cases has been in the area of domestic violence. Total felony filings, constituting the largest part of criminal caseloads in courts of general jurisdiction, rose 68 percent since 1984. Over 90 percent of civil and criminal cases in these courts are disposed of by nontrial means, through guilty pleas, dismissals, and settlements. Finally, the appellate court caseload across the country is also increasing, with half of the courts of last resort and half the intermediate appellate courts failing to clear their dockets. 1 appendix

Date Published: January 1, 1995