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Caseloads: Civil Cases, U.S. a Party, 1870-2016

U.S. Circuit, District, and Territorial Courts, 1870-1911
U.S. District Courts, 1912-2016
[1]
Year (ending)
Commenced
Terminated [2]
Pending
1870[3]
-
3,347
8,150
1871[4]
-
4,565 a
7,239
1872[5]
-
3,693 a
6,715
1873[6]
-
3,241 a b
7,599
1874[7]
-
3,058 a
6,854
1875[8]
-
3,002 a
7,211
1876
-
3,203 a
6,926
1877[9]
-
2,716 a
6,764
1878[10]
-
2,589 a
4,466
1879[11]
-
2,515 a
4,236
1880[12]
-
2,423
4,110
1881[13]
-
2,482
2,929
1882
-
1,973
2,494
1883
-
1,597
4,432
1884
-
1,548
6,152
1885[14]
-
1,658
2,146
1886
-
1,379
2,826
1887
-
1,777
3,054
1888
-
2,170
3,051
1889
-
2,287
2,950
1890
-
1,768
2,927
1891
-
1,673
3,459
1892
-
2,009
2,264
1893
-
1,628
2,119 b
1894
-
1,562
2,234
1895
-
2,751
2,608
1896
-
2,726
8,204
1897
-
2,524
7,616
1898
-
2,369
6,851 b
1899
-
1,739
2,807
1900
-
1,602
6,130
1901
-
1,873
4,828
1902
-
2,672
4,180
1903
-
1,793
2,940 c
1904
1,803
2,171
2,778 c
1905
2,010
2,158
2,801 c
1906
1,687
1,953
2,684 c
1907
2,633
1,900
3,581 c
1908
3,202
2,483
4,338 c
1909
3,142
3,071
4,342 c
1910
3,170
3,464
4,056 c
1911
3,814 b
2,982
4,903 c
1912
4,001
3,242
5,681 c
1913
3,752
4,123
23,261[15]
1914
4,142
4,781
29,888 c
1915
3,578
7,026
26,362 c
1916
3,500
10,739
12,167 c
1917
3,534
6,507
9,098 c
1918
2,877
4,592
7,410 c
1919
4,975
6,280
6,110 c
1920
5,726
5,526
6,298 c
1921
9,722
6,301
10,288 c
1922
9,646
8,170
12,126 c
1923
10,999
10,037
13,082 c
1924
13,753
11,121
15,777 c
1925
16,319
13,968
18,187 c
1926
17,504
17,236
18,506 c
1927
17,888
19,953
16,433 c
1928
20,695
18,589
18,611 c
1929
24,307
21,733
21,185 c
1930
24,934
24,722
21,320
1931
25,332
25,010
21,642
1932
34,189
29,591
26,240
1933
25,797
27,744
24,293
1934
9,487
16,479
17,303
Jul 1 - Dec 31, 1934[16]
5,779
6,716
16,286 c
Jan 1 - Jun 30, 1935
5,900
6,081
15,383 c
1936
13,057
14,395
14,048 c
1937
10,202
11,625
12,625
1938
11,526
12,856
11,295
1939
12,212
13,905
9,602
1940
13,644
14,003
9,238
1941
16,546
15,197
10,587
1942
17,073
15,864
11,796
1943
19,072
15,920
14,948
1944
20,895
19,640
16,203
1945
43,110
35,547
23,766
1946
45,694
42,562
26,898
1947
29,834
31,424
25,308
1948
16,381
22,373
19,316
1949
22,035
20,237
21,114
1950
22,429
22,765
20,778
1951
19,424
20,700
19,502
1952
22,880
20,540
21,842
1953
23,881
22,106
23,617
1954
19,949
20,894
22,672
1955
20,150
21,611
21,211
1956
21,393
24,944
17,660
1957
19,914
21,109
16,465
1958
21,458
20,717
17,206
1959
20,355
21,361
16,200
1960
20,840
20,994
16,046
1961
19,843
19,368
16,521
1962
20,298
19,793
17,026
1963
21,385
21,553
16,858
1964
22,268
21,810
17,316
1965
21,651
21,109
17,858
1966
23,181
21,884
19,155
1967
21,593
22,699
18,049
1968
19,666
19,726
17,989
1969
22,295
21,017
19,267
1970
24,965
23,767
20,465
1971
25,086
24,859
20,692
1972
26,729
26,116
21,305
1973
27,484
27,347
21,442
1974
27,585
26,702
22,325
1975
31,779
27,949
26,155
1976
39,864
31,731
34,288
1977
40,210
34,450
40,048
1978
46,811
39,399
47,460
1979
55,840
47,184
56,116
1980
63,628
61,065
58,680 c
1981
61,845
66,083
54,443 c
1982
75,773
72,249
57,966 c
1983
95,803
83,811
69,950 c
1984
111,867
100,291
81,525 c
1985
117,488
121,425
77,588
1986
91,830
111,554
57,860 c
1987
72,022
75,661
54,263 c
1988
69,076
68,495
54,745 c
1989
61,906
66,633
48,788 c
1990
56,300
56,637
46,948 c
1991
52,654
51,562
48,040
1991[17]
-
-
48,921
1992[18]
62,600
61,970
47,580 c
1993
51,724
54,430
43,584 c
1994
45,410
47,296
41,346 c
1995
43,158
46,495
36,869 c
1996
48,755
46,772
38,495 c
1997
60,004
50,591
47,593 c
1998
57,852
59,446
45,078 c
1999
65,443
61,309
48,934 c
2000
71,109
67,219
53,036 c
2001
63,324
64,181
51,662 c
2002
53,997
56,678
48,386 c
2003
49,200
51,788
45,472 c
2004
48,462
50,771
43,432 c
2005
52,386
52,125
43,596 c
2006
44,294
47,607
39,035 c
2007
45,464
45,660
38,695 c
2008
44,164
45,190
36,851 c
2009
43,144
42,242
37,708 c
2010
43,037
41,030
40,349 c
2011
46,869
43,303
43,236 c
2012
47,692
45,558
44,427 c
2013
48,239
46,688
45,955 c
2014
44,943
46,749
44,107 c
2015
41,583
44,354
41,088 c
2016
60,136
46,644
54,580
Notations:
a: total of cases reported for customs suits, internal revenue suits, Post-Office suits, proceedings by quo warranto under enforcement act (1871 only), and miscellaneous suits
b: discrepancy between exhibit and text of report
c: revised total presented in subsequent year's report
Notes :
[1] Statistical year from January 1-December 31. All years include the District of Columbia and district courts in U.S. territories and possessions.
[2] Includes cases that reached judgment in the trial court and were appealed.
[3] No data submitted from 22 districts: Delaware, Northern Florida, Southern Florida, Maine, Minnesota, Northern Mississippi, Western Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Eastern Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Eastern Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Eastern Wisconsin, District of Columbia, Colorado, Idaho, and Utah.
[4] No data submitted by Western Arkansas, Nevada, Oregon.
[5] No data submitted by the following districts: Northern Florida, Southern Florida, Nevada, Western District of Virginia, Arizona Territory, Colorado Territory, and New Mexico Territory.
[6] Statistical year changed to July 1-June 30. No data submitted by the following districts: Minnesota, Nevada, Western Texas, Idaho, New Mexico, Washington.
[7] No data submitted by the following districts: Nevada, Arizona, District of Columbia.
[8] No data submitted by the districts of Nevada and Washington.
[9] No data submitted by the territories of Dakota and Montana.
[10] No data submitted by the Northern District of Mississippi.
[11] No data submitted by the districts of Idaho and Wyoming.
[12] No data submitted by the District of Idaho.
[13] No data submitted by the territories of Montana and New Mexico.
[14] No report submitted by Territory of New Mexico.
[15] Dramatic jump from previous year because of 18,077 land cases in eastern Oklahoma not reported the previous year.
[16] Department of Justice adopted new procedures for compiling statistics during the year and published its data based on the old system as separate tables for the first half of the statistical year.
[17] In 1992, the statistical year was changed to coincide with the fiscal year, which ended on September 30. The 1992 report included statistics for cases pending the 12-month period ending September 30, 1991.
[18] Statistical year changed to October 1-September 30.
Sources:
1870: Annual Report of the Attorney General , p. 4.
1871: Annual Report of the Attorney General (1872), Exhibit A.
1872: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit C.
1873-1902: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit A; 1873-1875 includes bankruptcy cases.
1903-1904: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit 11.
1905-1907: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit 6.
1908: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit 7.
1909: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit 9.
1910-1912: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Appendix 1.
1913: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Appendix 2.
1914-1934: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit 2.
1935-1939: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit 2, Table 2A.
1940-1941: Annual Report of the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts , Table 3.
1942-1944: Annual Report of the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts , Table 5.
1945-2016: Annual Report of the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts , Table C-1.