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State Court Caseload Statistics, 1977 to 1981

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 1983
In 1981, the 50 States and the District of Columbia reported over 82 million cases filed in their respective trial courts. Between 1977 and 1981, the number of civil case filings increased by 31 percent.

Of the 40 States reporting data for both 1977 and 1981, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Oregon had the largest percentage increase in criminal filings, while West Virginia, Iowa, and Vermont had the largest decreases. Overall, the State reports indicate that civil and criminal case filings have increased above 20 percent in 4 years. Moreover, between 1977 and 1981, States reported an 18-percent increase in filings in courts of last resort and a 35-percent increase in intermediate appellate courts for an overall increase of 32 percent in all appellate filings. By 1990, appellate courts could experience more than a 100-percent increase in case filings from the base year 1977. Statistics in tabular and graphic form, five footnotes, and four references are included.

Date Published: February 1, 1983