Medina County Courthouse

Monday, August 23, 2010

2009 Report Shows Decrease in New Cases Filed in Ohio Courts

Ohio Supreme Court Issues 10-Year Analysis

Marked by a decrease in new traffic filings, last year saw the lowest total number of new cases filed in Ohio courts in 10 years, according to a 2009 reportreleased today by the Supreme Court of Ohio. The annual Ohio Courts Statistical Summary examines data from Ohio courts for the years 2000 to 2009.

The Supreme Court included 10 years of data from Ohio courts for the first time in the 2008 report. Previously, the annual Ohio Courts Summary provided raw statistical tables of activity in Ohio’s courts – from trial courts to appellate courts to the Supreme Court – including statistics about caseloads, case terminations and clearance rates from the previous year. (Mayor’s courts’ statistics are published in a separate report, which will be released later this year.)

The raw data are published in a separate publication – the Ohio Courts Statistical Report – while the summary analyzes data from the report and identifies trends.

Taking all courts combined, 2,972,939 new cases were filed in 2009, which was an 8 percent decrease over 2008 and more than 100,000 fewer cases than the next lowest year (2004) over the past 10 years. The data show that traffic cases in municipal and county courts are the primary contributor to the overall decrease.

With traffic cases in municipal and county courts constituting 42 percent of all new filings across all courts, the number of new filings in this category was also at its lowest mark since 2000 with 1,259,095 filings, a 7 percent decrease from 2008.

Other notable trends from the report include:

Breach of contract cases and similar non-tort related civil cases show marked growth over the past 10 years. In 2009, 224,180 new breach of contract cases were filed in municipal and county courts, representing a 68 percent increase over 2000.

Also, in common pleas courts, 68,965 new “other civil” cases were filed, representing an 88 percent increase over 2000. This figure is slightly down (4 percent) from the 10-year high of 72,121 cases filed in 2008.

The highest number of new domestic violence (civil protection order) cases filings in the past 10 years: 20,551.

The lowest number of new abuse, neglect, and dependency cases filed in the past 10 years: 12,727.

This year’s summary also includes a special section on foreclosures that examines 20 years caseload statistics.

Information contained in the reports is provided to the Supreme Court on a monthly basis by all courts except for courts of appeals and probate courts, which provide statistics on a quarterly basis.

The Supreme Court analyzes case filing patterns and trends for the exclusive purpose of assisting in the efficient administration of justice. The Court does not examine or analyze larger social and governmental trends that may contribute to or influence changes in case filing volumes.

Contact: Chris Davey or Bret Crow at 614.387.9250.

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