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NCJ Number: NCJ 212596     Find in a Library
Title: Examining the Work of State Courts, 2004
  Document URL: HTML 
  Editor(s): Richard Y. Schauffler ; Robert C. LaFountain ; Neal B. Kauder ; Shauna M. Strickland
Corporate Author: National Ctr for State Courts
United States of America
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 80
  Annotation: This report presents a comprehensive analysis of the work of State trial and appellate courts in the United States.
Abstract: Part of the Court Statistics Project (CSP), this publication provides accurate and objective data that allows State courts to compare their caseloads, emerging trends, and legislative impact with courts around the country. State trial courts in 2003 averaged 1 incoming civil, domestic, criminal, juvenile, or traffic case for every 3 citizens of the United States, for a total of approximately 100 million incoming cases in 2003. The volume of cases appearing before State courts increased at a rate of around 1 percent per year during the period 1994 through 2003, with much of this increase attributed to population increases. Incoming civil cases in 2003 numbered approximately 17 million, rising for the fourth consecutive year. Incoming tort cases were also on the rise in 2003 after a 5-year decline. Domestic cases introduced to State courts numbered 5.5 million in 2003, representing a 15 percent increase in domestic cases over the past 10 years. After several years of decline, incoming criminal cases have increased in the years since 2002 and many courts are struggling to handle their felony caseloads. Misdemeanor cases still comprise the majority of criminal caseloads, with 21 States reporting almost 5 million incoming misdemeanor cases compared to 1.6 million incoming felony cases. Incoming juvenile cases number 1 for every 36 juveniles in the population; a full 30 percent of these juvenile cases reenter the court system. While accurate and comprehensive counts of traffic cases are difficult to calculate, State courts report a large volume of traffic cases, with non-criminal traffic cases often disputed in court. Finally, after declining 7 percent between 1998 and 2001, appellate court caseloads are on the rise. Most appeals are mandatory cases in intermediate appellate courts, with most rulings at this level affirming the rulings of the lower court. Figures, tables, appendixes
Main Term(s): Court statistics ; State courts
Index Term(s): Appellate courts ; Traffic courts ; Caseloads ; Juvenile courts ; Criminal proceedings ; Civil proceedings ; BJS grant-related documents
Sponsoring Agency: Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
US Dept of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 2003-BJ-CX-K103
Publication Number: ISBN 0-89656-253-0
Sale Source: National Ctr for State Courts
Publications Dept
300 Newport Avenue
Williamsburg, VA 23185
United States of America
Publisher URL: 
Type: Statistics
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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