SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - The California Judicial Council released the 2012 Court Statistics Report on Wednesday revealing that there were 9.5 million cases filed in the California superior courts over the course of the fiscal year.
The number of cases was a drop in filings from the previous fiscal year, but the report showed a 12 percent increase in cases over the past decade.
The CSR gives detailed statewide caseload data for fiscal year 2010-2011 and a 10 year data trend on multiple types of court business in the Courts of Appeal, the Supreme Court of California and the superior courts in California's 58 counties. The report provides county-level data for the most recent fiscal year in its online version, along with a summary of major filing trends.
Article VI, section six of the California Constitution requires that the Judicial Council survey the condition of business in the state courts and to report and make recommendations to the legislature and the governor.
The California Supreme Court issued 98 written opinions in fiscal year 2010-2011, with 10,145 filings, 10,063 dispositions, 42 automatic appeals arising out of judgments of death, 29 disposals of appeals by written opinion and the de-publishing of 11 Court of Appeal opinions.
The state's Courts of Appeal reported 23,021 total contested matters, including 13,950 records of appeal and 9,071 original proceedings during the fiscal year. There were 24,967 dispositions, including 15,805 appeals and 9,162 original proceedings. The report showed 10,329 dispositions of appeals by written opinion, 3,509 appeals disposed of without written opinion and 1,967 appeals disposed of without a record filed. There were 581 dispositions of original proceedings by written opinion and 8,581 original proceedings disposed of without written opinion. The state published nine percent of Court of Appeal majority opinions.
The CSR noted 9,425,508 superior court case filings and 8,595,440 dispositions. Within the filings and dispositions, there were 1,085,189 civil filings, 1,154,503 civil dispositions, 7,706,941 criminal filings, 6,871,139 criminal dispositions, 112,234 juvenile filings, 96,929 juvenile dispositions, 446,927 family law filings, 411,254 family law dispositions, 74,217 filings and 61,615 dispositions for all other case types, including probate, mental health, appeals and criminal habeas corpus. There were 10,110 jury trials and 557,448 court trials across all case types during the fiscal year as well.
The Judicial Council is the California courts' policymaking body and is responsible for ensuring impartial, independent, consistent and accessible administration of justice.