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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134609 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Reexamining the Pace of Litigation in 39 Urban Trial Courts
Author(s): J A Goerdt; C Lomvardias; G Gallas
Corporate Author: National Ctr for State Courts
United States of America
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 99
Sponsoring Agency: Bureau of Justice Assistance
Washington, DC 20531
National Ctr for State Courts
Williamsburg, VA 23185-4147
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Grant Number: 87-DD-CX-0002(S3)
Publication Number: ISBN 0-89656-109-7
Sale Source: National Ctr for State Courts
300 Newport Avenue
Williamsburg, VA 23185-4147
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Approximately 500 civil cases and 500 felony cases disposed during 1987 in 39 urban trial courts were randomly sampled and analyzed with regard to the pace of litigation; percentiles were the primary statistic used in this report to describe overall case processing times within individual courts.
Abstract: The findings, regarding the pace of felony case litigation, indicated that most courts disposed of 90 percent of their cases within 1 year of arrest, but no court was in full compliance with American Bar Association disposition time standards. Larger pending caseload per judge was a strong correlate of longer felony case processing times, while a lower percentage of violent crimes, early resolution of pretrial motions, and a higher percentage of firm trial dates were predictors of shorter processing times. Drug-related caseloads exacerbated delay in felony case processing for some courts included in this study. In terms of the pace of civil case litigation, the study found that 28 of the courts had 10 percent or more of their cases over 2 years old at disposition. Larger pending civil caseloads per judge were found in more populous urban areas and were the strongest correlate of longer civil case processing times. About 39 percent of all civil cases were disposed without an answer filed by the defendant, significantly reducing the amount of judge time required. The authors maintain that effective case management is important in reducing case processing times. Where comprehensive delay reductions programs were implemented, courts significantly improved their pace of litigation. 21 tables, 17 figures, and 15 appendixes
Main Term(s): Case processing; Court case flow
Index Term(s): Civil proceedings; Court delays; Criminal procedures; Urban area studies
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