Caseflow Management and Delay Reduction in Urban Trial Courts of the United States, 1979, 1983-1985 (ICPSR 9918)
Principal Investigator(s): Mahoney, Barry, National Center for State Courts. Institute for Court Management
The purpose of this study was to examine caseflow management in order to reduce delays in urban trial courts. The data contain information from court records that reached disposition in a cross-section of urban general-jurisdiction trial courts during 1979, 1983, 1984, and 1985. The 1979 data files contain the baseline data for this survey. Data were gathered on civil and criminal case processing times across a broad range of courts, and changes in case processing times over a period of years were analyzed for 18 different jurisdictions: Newark, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Miami, Wayne County, Minneapolis, the Bronx, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, Dayton, Boston, Cleveland, Providence, Wichita, Detroit, Oakland, and Jersey City. The data are supplemented by information supplied by trial court administrators and presiding judges in the courts participating in the study. Data include information on the nature of the case, the dates of first and last trials, and the total number of trials and their manner of disposition.
One or more data files in this study are set up in a non-standard format, such as card image format. Users may need help converting these files before they can be used for analysis.
These data are freely available.
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Mahoney, Barry. Caseflow Management and Delay Reduction in Urban Trial Courts of the United States, 1979, 1983-1985. ICPSR09918-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1994. doi:10.3886/ICPSR09918.v1
Persistent URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09918.v1
This survey was funded by:
- United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (84-IJ-CX-0077)
- United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Assistance (84-SN-AX-0001, 87-DD-CX-0002)
Scope of Study
Geographic Coverage: United States
Unit of Observation: civil or criminal case
Universe: Civil and criminal trial cases in urban courts of the United States.
Data Types: survey data
Data Collection Notes:
Data for 1979 are supplied for New Jersey and Wichita only. No civil data are available for Detroit for 1983 and 1985, nor for Phoenix, Miami, Minneapolis, Newark, New Orleans, or Oakland in 1984. See the notes in the codebook for information particular to certain sites. The individual survey instrument for each site is available only in hardcopy form upon request from ICPSR.
Study Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine caseflow management in order to reduce delays in urban trial courts. Data were gathered on civil and criminal case processing times across a broad range of courts, and changes in case processing times over a period of years were analyzed for 18 different jurisdictions: Newark, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Miami, Wayne County, Minneapolis, the Bronx, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, Dayton, Boston, Cleveland, Providence, Wichita, Detroit, Oakland, and Jersey City. These data contain information that reached disposition in a cross-section of urban general-jurisdiction trial courts during 1979, 1983, 1984, and 1985. The 1979 data files contain the baseline data for this survey. In selecting courts for inclusion in the study, a mix of urban courts from different geographic regions, all with at least ten judges, was sought. The intent was to include at least a few courts that met the following criteria: (1) courts that had been the subject of a prior empirical study of case processing times, (2) courts that had initiated a significant delay reduction or delay prevention effort during the 1977-1983 period, and (3) courts located in states in which a significant state-wide delay reduction effort had been initiated during the 1977-1983 period.
Study Design: After the court selection, presiding judges or trial court administrators were contacted to arrange initial site visits. These visits served three purposes: (1) to help project staff members obtain an overview of civil and criminal case processing in the court through interviews with key judges and administrators, (2) to collect documentary information about the court, such as organizational charts, management information reports, local court rules, annual reports, etc., and (3) to study the court's record-keeping system. These systems provided a basis for developing a data collection framework.
Sample: A general sample of approximately 500 criminal cases and 500 civil cases was selected for each disposition year--1979, 1983, 1984, and 1985. The approach to select the desired sample size of 500 was first to determine (or estimate) the number of dispositions in the year for which the sample was drawn. The determined (or the estimated) number was then divided by the desired sample size (500) to obtain the sampling interval. Using the random number as a starting point, every nth (where n is the sampling interval) case on the list was picked up for inclusion in the sample.
Description of Variables: The criminal case survey instrument contains 22 basic question statements. Out of 22 basic data elements that are present in the data, eight are dates that include date of arrest, date trial started, date of disposition, and date of sentencing. Other elements include total number of defendants, most serious charge in indictment, number of counts or charges against this defendant, type of disposition, most serious charge at conviction, and sentence imposed. The civil case survey instrument contains 17 basic question statements. Out of 17 elements in the data six are dates which include date of complaint, first schedule trial date, date trial started, and date of disposition. Other elements include nature of case, number of plaintiffs, number of defendants, and manner of disposition. Supplemental data elements were added in particular sites.
Response Rates: Not applicable.
Presence of Common Scales: None
Extent of Processing: ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:
- Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Original ICPSR Release: 1995-12-20
- 2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 29 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.
- 2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 22 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.
- 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.
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