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Publication Civil Rights Complaints in U.S. District Courts, 1990-98

Marika F.X. Litras, Ph.D.

January 16, 2000    NCJ 173427

Presents findings about civil rights cases in U.S. district courts that dealt with employment, housing, welfare, voting, or other civil rights issues between 1990 and 1998. (This report does not include prisoner petitions or criminal civil rights cases prosecuted by U.S. attorneys.) Information is presented on trends in types of civil rights cases filed, the basis of Federal court jurisdiction, disposition of civil rights cases, type of trial and trial outcomes, monetary award amounts, and case processing time. Data show that civil rights complaints more than doubled between 1990 and 1998, due primarily to growth in employment-related cases between private parties.

Highlights:

  • Between 1990 and 1998 the number of cases in which plaintiffs sought civil remedies related to discrimination in employment, housing, welfare, voting, or other civil rights issues more than doubled from 18,793 to 42,354.
  • The growth of civil rights cases has been due largely to the increase in employment cases between private parties.
  • The Federal Government was involved as a plaintiff or defendant in about 7% of civil rights- related complaints in 1998 down from 13% in 1990.

Part of the Civil Rights Complaints in U.S. District Courts Series

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ASCII file (44K)
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Civil Justice Survey of State Courts (CJSSC)

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