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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 82114 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Volume and Delay in the Indiana Court of Appeals - A Staff Study
Author(s): J A Martin; E A Prescott
Corporate Author: National Ctr for State Courts
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 106
Sponsoring Agency: Charles E Culpeper Foundation
New York, NY 10017
National Ctr for State Courts
North Andover, MA 01845
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 79-DF-AX-0082; 78-DF-AX-0021
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Findings and recommendations are presented from an examination of case volume and delay in the Indiana Court of Appeals.
Abstract: Case backlog was a serious problem in the Indiana Court of Appeals during the period from which case record data were collected (cases filed in 1975-76). Cases often exceeded the court's maximum time limits for filing briefs, records, and transcripts. Apparently, attorneys and lower court clerks are often not preparing and promptly filing or monitoring the flow of necessary appeals case documents. Further, judges seem not to be consistently following established policies governing the granting of extensions for filing notices of appeal, records, and transcripts. Neither are trial court judges uniformly monitoring the performance of attorneys, court clerks, and reporters during the initial stages of the appellate process. Litigants must often wait a substantial time for their cases to be decided and opinions prepared by the court. The court's work habits apparently limit the number of cases which can be decided, and inconsistency between panels may contribute to a climate of uncertainty about when cases will be decided. Improvements could be derived from (1) developing mechanisms to grant the appellate court commissioner and law clerks authority to screen cases and prepare suggested memorandum opinions, (2) implementing procedures for assigning cases to individual judges according to their case backlog, (3) implementing a court rule that written opinions must be completed within 60 days after decision, (4) implementing procedures for case reassignment when judges are consistently behind in their cases, (5) developing 'fast track' alternative procedures, and (6) providing sanctions for judges who are consistently delinquent in completing assigned cases. Appended are considerations of a framework for examining delay in appellate court systems, case subject matter, type of attorney involved in appeal, time interval graphs, and correlates of case processing time. Tabular and graphic data are provided. (Author summary modified)
Index Term(s): Appellate courts; Court case flow management; Court delays; Indiana
Note: A publication of Appellate Justice Improvement Project
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