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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 164105 Find in a Library
Title: Analysis of Pro Se Case Filings in Ten U.S. District Courts Yields New Information
Journal: FJC (Federal Judicial Center) Directions  Issue:9  Dated:(June 1996)  Pages:5-13
Author(s): D Rauma; C P Sutelan
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 9
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on data collected from 10 Federal court districts with the largest number of civil cases filed between 1989 and 1994, this study presents information and data from an analysis of pro se case filings in these courts.
Abstract: Nine of the 10 districts experienced increases in the number of pro se filings between fiscal 1991 and 1994. More than one- third of pro se cases in the database were nonprisoner filings. Civil rights cases composed the largest category of nonprisoner pro se cases (42 percent). Prisoner filings composed almost two- thirds of the pro se caseload, and they were predominantly civil rights cases (60 percent) and habeas corpus petitions (30 percent); 9 percent were requests to vacate sentence. One-third of all pro se and represented prisoner cases were dismissed before trial, and prisoner cases were less likely to settle than nonprisoner cases. In prisoner cases, the likelihood of dismissal or of judgment on a motion before trial was greater in pro se cases than in represented cases. Pro se cases went to trial as infrequently as represented cases. In pro se cases, the median time from filing to disposition was less for prisoner cases than for nonprisoner cases. Overall, median time from filing to disposition was less for cases in which one or more litigants was pro se than for those in which all parties were represented by counsel. 8 figures
Main Term(s): Court statistics
Index Term(s): Federal courts; Pro se defense
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