The National Center for State Courts reports in their Court Statistics Project that case filings in Federal and State courts dropped by 28%  in 2020, and by 50+% for specific case types in some locations. Conversely, in some locations filings of other case types have increased, creating significant backlogs caused by pandemic-imposed operating restrictions and reduced staff availability.

The 2021 filings do indicate that the courts are adapting and ‘..catching up.’ Some of the reduced casework can be explained by specific events: eviction moratoriums can explain the decreases in Landlord/Tenant cases, while similarly a 33+% drop in Traffic cases can be explained by far fewer trips to work, school, and to social events. A less positive correlation is drawn in regards to Child Welfare cases: kids and social workers saw each other far less in 2020. Less contact likewise produced increased abuse and neglect cases as well.

Typically case filing trends can be expected to change by a few percentage points annually.  However, the changes recorded from 2019 to 2020 are described in the NCSC report as “Dramatic”.  Check out their report through the link above to see how the case filing trends may affect your and your employer’s work flow.

For additional NCSC publications, go here: Additional Pandemic-Related Data

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