Reporting Excellence Awards, 2012

Each year in Examining the Work of State Courts, the Court Statistics Project recognizes states that have taken the time and applied the resources necessary to improve the quantity or quality of their reported caseload data. Improvements may include increases in the number of case types detailed within a case category, in the number of status categories (such as reopened or pending) for which data are provided, in the quality or completeness of data that had previously been reported, or in some combination of the three. This year we are pleased to recognize administrative office staff in Missouri, Nevada and New Hampshire for their continued dedication to the enhancement of nationally collected court caseload statistics.

Missouri

Missouri began a review of their appellate court statistics during a CSP staff site visit in 2010. During 2011, staff of the Office of the State Courts Administrator continued that review by comparing the data elements collected with those recommended in the State Court Guide to Statistical Reporting. The end result of their review is the 2012 addition of both case types and status categories for the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. The caseload data for both courts now include detail regarding the number of administrative agency appeals, the number of new filings that are interlocutory in nature, the manner in which all cases are disposed, the type of opinions for cases that have been decided on the merits, and the outcomes of those cases. The Supreme Court caseload also includes additional information on the number of pending cases, and the Court of Appeals caseload now provides a breakdown of civil cases for which there is an appeal by right.

Nevada

Nevada’s Administrative Office of the Courts is in the process of implementing new statewide reporting standards for court statistics. The new system adheres to the national reporting framework outlined in the State Court Guide to Statistical Reporting. In 2010 Nevada applied their new reporting standards to the Criminal case category and reported all Criminal case types for New Filing, Reopened, and Entry of Judgment data. Next year, the Nevada AOC plans to apply the new standards to the Civil case category.

New Hampshire

After reviewing data available and the State Court Guide to Statistical Reporting, New Hampshire Administrative Office of the Courts’ staff improved data reporting for 2010, increasing both the number of case types reported and the quality and completeness of the reported data. For the general jurisdiction Superior Courts, case types were added to the Civil and Juvenile case categories, and quality was improved in all five case categories, resulting in complete grand total data. In limited jurisdiction courts, Entry of Judgment data were added in addition to quality improvements and the addition of case types.