BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Home  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Help  |  A-Z Topic List
 
 
Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Home | Courts | Civil cases | Civil Appeals
Civil Appeals
On This Page
About this Topic

Presents information collected from studies that examine civil trials on appeal. These studies include—

  • the types of civil cases appealed after trials to an intermediate appellate court or court of last resort,
  • the impact of the appellate process on trial court outcomes,
  • the extent that appellate claims are dismissed or withdrawn before deciding on the merits, and
  • case processing time in appellate courts.

Findings detail the characteristics of general civil bench and jury trials appealed; the frequency with which appellate courts affirmed, reversed, or modified trial court outcomes. Data were collected from the administrative files of 84 appellate courts. These findings provide national-level estimates of the effect of appellate court litigation on outcomes of civil trials disposed.

Summary findings

  • Plaintiffs and defendants appealed 15% of the 26,950 tort, contract, and real property bench and jury trials concluded in state trial courts in 2005.

     
  • Sixty-one percent of civil appeals were decided on the merits, while the remainder were dismissed or withdrawn.

     
  • The trial court verdict or judgment was fully or partly reversed in 35% of civil appeals decided on the merits.

     
  • The average case processing time for appeals decided on the merits was 14 months, while appeals that were dismissed or withdrawn were disposed on average within 6 months.

Data Collections & Surveys

Publications & Products


Appeals of Civil Trials Concluded in 2005 Presents information on civil trials concluded in state trial courts in 2005 with judgments or verdicts later appealed to an intermediate appellate court or court of last resort.
  PDF (1.1M) | ASCII file (25K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 19K)

Appeals from General Civil Trials in 46 Large Counties, 2001-2005 Presents information on general civil cases concluded by bench or jury trial in 2001 that were subsequently appealed to a State's intermediate appellate court or court of last resort.
  Press Release | PDF (284K) | ASCII file (36K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 60K)

Appeals from General Civil Trials in 46 Large Counties, 2001-2005 "Approximately 15 percent of state civil trials are appealed, according to justice department report"
  Press Release | More information about this release