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Monday, October 26, 2015

Ind. Courts - "Indiana trial court filings drop 8.9 percent in 2014"

Dan Carden reports today in the NWI Times:

The 2014 Indiana Judicial Service Report, issued last week by the Supreme Court's Division of State Court Administration, details exactly how often and in which ways the 6.6 million Hoosiers engaged with their courts last year.

Here's a look at some of the highlights from the three volume, 1,290-page document:

A total of 1,036,503 new cases were filed last year in the 315 circuit, superior and probate courts located in the state's 92 counties. An additional 314,406 cases were filed in 76 city, town or small claims courts. Altogether, new filings were down 8.9 percent compared to 2013, due primarily to fewer tickets being issued for infractions and ordinance violations.

After peaking in 2009 at 2,001,731 filings, the state has seen a 27.4 percent decrease in new court cases through 2014. Both criminal and civil suits are down sharply, while juvenile, probate and adoption cases have remained steady.

However, the 271 murder cases filed in 2014 were the most in more than a decade, and a 32.2 percent increase from the 205 murder cases of 2010.

A whopping 1,728,373 cases were pending at the start of 2014. Despite judges completing work on 1,438,450 cases during the year, a total of 1,646,889 cases remained unresolved going into 2015.

Infractions [ILB: typically traffic violations] were the most common court case, comprising 35 percent of the state's total. Criminal cases made up 19 percent, followed by small claims (17 percent), civil (16 percent), ordinance violations (6 percent), juvenile (5 percent) and probate/adoptions (2 percent).

Just 1,169 jury trials were held last year across Indiana accounting for a mere 0.08 percent of all case dispositions.

Bench trials, where the judge is the jury, decided 61,621 cases (4 percent). The most common outcome of an Indiana court case was dismissal, occurring with 17 percent of new filings. Guilty pleas resolved 15 percent of the cases. * * *

The total cost to operate Indiana's court system last year was $459,585,176. That's a 37.8 percent increase compared to 2005. The state's share of court system costs was $141,485,332, counties spent $298,904,950 and localities paid $19,194,894. The court system also generated $173,601,840 in revenue for the state, counties and municipalities.

A trial court judge earned $134,112 in 2014. The 16 appellate judges serving on the Indiana Court of Appeals and Tax Court were paid $157,104. Each of the five Indiana Supreme Court justices received $161,524 for their work.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 26, 2015 10:01 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts