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Publication State Court Caseload Statistics - Annual Report, 1976

September 1, 1980    NCJ 56599

This series establishes a permanent data base of state court caseload statistics within the national center for state courts. The preparation of the report was closely supervised by the conference of state court administrators and includes appellate court and general jurisdiction court data from 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, as well as limited jurisdiction data from 116 courts in 39 states and Puerto Rico. (Three states and the District of Columbia do not have limited jurisdiction courts.) Only a few specific case categories were displayed for limited or special jurisdiction courts in the 1975 annual report. The report consists of two major sections. Part i (which follows an introduction describing the goals, scope, and methodology of the national court statistics project) includes all the summary tables of 1976 state court caseload along with explanatory text. Appellate court data are interpreted separately from trial court data. Appellate court tables display total caseflow for all appellate courts, comparative caseflow for all courts of last resort (with breakdowns for courts of last resort in states with and without intermediate appellate courts), and comparative caseflow for intermediate appellate courts. Separate breakdowns of total caseload into civil and criminal data for appellate courts and time-to-disposition data are also presented. In addition to these tables that are similar to the 1975 report, two tables display the available trend data for filings (1975-1976) and the number and percent change in filings from year to year. Summary tables for trial courts display total caseflow as well as breakdowns into civil, criminal, traffic, and juvenile caseload. Civil caseflow is broken down into case subcategories whenever available. Charts of case subcategories identify general, limited, and special jurisdiction court data when available. Criminal caseflow is also broken down into two case subcategories, with separate charts showing criminal dispositions and criminal trial data. Traffic caseload is broken down into two case subcategories, a separate table showing traffic disposition data. Juvenile caseflow is also broken down into case subcategories. Jury trial data are compiled when available. As with appellate data, available trend data for filings (1967-1976) are presented for the trial courts as well as the number and percent change in filings from year to year. Part ii of the annual report contains individual state profiles outlining the structure of the state court organization and subject matter jurisdiction of each court. Statistical tables within each profile display available caseflow data from each state for each appellate court, for each general jurisdiction court, and for limited jurisdiction courts from which data were available. These profile tables are the source of the statistics that are compiled in the summary tables in part i. Three appendixes present the sources of the 1975 data, the estimation procedures used in the statistical computations, and the types of cases handled by each trial court. A glossary is provided.


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