Two of Every Three Cases Processed in Limited Jurisdiction Courts
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California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Puerto Rico have single-tiered court systems. The primary distinction of a single-tiered system is that it processes the entire spectrum of cases in a single general jurisdiction court, whereas the other systems divide caseloads between general and limited jurisdiction courts based on such things as case complexity, case type, monetary value, and geography. Due to the inclusion of traffic/violations, small claims, and other cases that are numerous and typically processed in limited jurisdiction courts elsewhere, as well as the presence of 2 of the 5 most populous states (CA and IL), the combined number of incoming cases in the 6 single-tiered courts (17.2 million) was coincidentally similar in volume to the general jurisdiction caseloads in the remaining 46 states (18.1 million). The courts of limited jurisdiction in these same 46 states together processed nearly twice as many cases (68.2 million) as single-tiered and general jurisdiction courts combined.