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Examining the Work of State Courts, 1997: A National Perspective From the Court Statistics Project

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1998
This volume discusses and presents statistics on the caseloads of the nearly 16,300 State trial courts, as well as an analysis of court workloads as indicated by the concept of weighted caseloads.

The discussion notes that more than 89 million new cases were filed in State courts in 1997. The caseload consisted of more than 15 million civil cases, 5 million domestic relations cases, 14 million criminal cases, 2 million juvenile cases, and nearly 53 million traffic and ordinance violations. Civil filings increased by 34 percent, criminal filings by 45 percent, juvenile filings by 68 percent, and domestic relations filings by 77 percent between 1984 and 1997, while traffic filings dropped 14 percent. Overall caseload growth during the 13-year period significantly exceeded the 13 percent growth in the United States population. One third of the States kept up with the flow of criminal and civil filings, as indicated by 1995-97 average clearance rates of 100 percent or higher. The volume of appeals reached a new high in 1997; the 295,275 appellate filings represented a 3 percent increase over 1996. Tables, figures, and appended reference notes and methodological information

Date Published: January 1, 1998