Data Dictionary

Incoming Cases
  • The sum of all new cases filed plus cases that were transferred into the court, reopened (after being previously closed), redesignated, or reactivated (after previously placed on inactive status) during the reporting period.
Cases Terminated
  • The number of cases terminated refers to the number of cases closed for the reason given. Please see the statistical reporting instructions under the appropriate court type for definitions of specific termination (or disposition) types. It is important to note that not all terminations are final dispositions. Some categories (such as “unavailability of party” or “bankruptcy stay or interlocutory appeal”) only render a case inactive until such a time as the condition in the case changes.
Dispositions
  • The Number of Dispositions bar charts on the Form A, Form B, Form D, and Form AJ/IJ dashboard use aggregate categories of dispositions that are created from more specific termination types, and therefore are not found on the reporting forms. Please see the forms and instructions for definitions of each underlying specific termination types. The following aggregate disposition categories are used in the dashboards:
Trial
  • Jury trial, trial by judge, and trial by magistrate. Note that the Magistrate termination type used in the Form A reporting framework includes any case disposed through the adoption of a magistrate’s decision. The values reported under that termination type may include trials, default judgments, or dismissals. Because those actual outcomes cannot be separately parsed out of the Magistrate termination type, it is shown as a standalone disposition measure in the Number of Dispositions bar charts.
Dismissals
  • Dismissal, dismissal due to speedy trial or for want of prosecution, and settled or dismissed before trial.
Pleas
  • Guilty or no contest to original charge, and guilty or no contest to reduced charge.
Uncontested
  • Default/uncontested/dissolution by judge and default/uncontested/dissolution by magistrate.
Admission
  • Admission to judge and admission to magistrate.
Final Dispositions
  • As used in the Trial Rate line charts, final dispositions are those termination types that will not be reactivated. Accordingly, they do not include terminations for navailability of party, bankruptcy stay or interlocutory appeal, or transfer to another judge or court.
Pending End of Period
  • The number of cases that are pending (still active) at the close of business on the last day of the reporting period. For example, for March 2018, this number reflects the number of cases of a given type still active at the close of business on March 31, 2018. This number cannot be added to any other month’s number of pending cases, as there is no way to know if any of the cases in one month are still pending in the following month.
Cases Pending Beyond Time
  • This number reflects the number of cases that are pending at the end of each reporting period that have been pending for longer than the applicable time guideline, as noted in the reporting forms pursuant to Sup.R. 39. To calculate the length of time a case has been pending, the starting date is the date the case was filed (for civil cases) or the date that the defendant was arraigned (criminal cases). Similar to the pending end of period measure, this number cannot be added to any other month’s number of pending cases, as there is no way to know if any of the cases in one month are still pending in the following month.
Average Incoming Cases Per Judge
  • This number is calculated by taking the total number of incoming cases in a particular court and dividing by the number of judges in that court. This does not reflect the actual workload of a given judge, but can be viewed as a general proxy for workload when drawing comparisons between judges and courts. However, caution must be exercised when interpreting this data. For example, a judge may have a robust specialized docket that requires extra time and effort to effectively manage.
Average Monthly Overage Rate
  • The number of overage cases cannot be summed over a series of time periods. Instead, in order to gain a clearer picture of a court’s case processing timeliness performance is to calculate its monthly overage rate over time. In the dashboards, a 12-month average of the overage rate is used (see below for more information the overage rate metric). The average values supplied are for the months of that calendar year. If the year has not concluded, the value averages the available partial-year data.
Performance Measures
  • The dashboards contain the following measures of the courts’ case management performance:
Trial Rate
  • The trial rate measures the proportion of cases that were disposed after the formal commencement of a trial (either a bench trial or a jury trial). The trial rate is calculated by dividing the number of trials by the number of final dispositions (see above).
Overage Rate
  • The overage rate identifies the proportion of the court’s active pending caseload that has been pending for longer than the applicable time standards. It is calculated by dividing the number of cases pending beyond the time guidelines at the end of a month by the total number of cases pending at the end of that same month.
Clearance Rate
  • The clearance rate is an indicator of how well the court is keeping up with its incoming caseload. The clearance rate is calculated by dividing the number of disposed cases by the total number of incoming cases. An ideal clearance rate is 100 percent. A trend of clearance rates below 100 percent suggest that the court may be developing a backlog of cases, and that may indicative of an increasing overage rate.
Case Types
  • Case types are defined by the reporting requirements established in Sup.R. 37. Detailed definitions and explanations of the specifics of the types of cases that are categorized in each court can be found in the reporting instructions for each court type. The various case types appearing in the dashboards consist of:
Criminal Case Types
  • Cases categorized as criminal are felonies and misdemeanors in Municipal and County Courts. In Courts of Common Pleas (General Division only) criminal cases only include felonies.
Civil Case Types
  • Case types that are categorized as civil cases vary by court type:
    • Common Pleas, General Division: Professional Tort, Product Liability, Other Torts, Workers Compensation, Foreclosures, Administrative Appeal, Complex Litigation, and Other Civil.
    • Common Pleas, Domestic Relations, Juvenile, and Probate Divisions: All case types in these divisions are considered civil cases.
    • Municipal and County Courts: Personal Injury and Property Damage, Contracts, F.E.D. (Forcible Entry and Detainer), Other Civil, and Small Claims.
Traffic Case Types
  • Traffic cases are found in municipal and civil courts and include O.V.I. case (Operating a Vehicle under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs) and Other Traffic cases. Traffic cases involving juveniles are heard in juvenile court.
Juvenile Informal Cases
  • This category refers to the number of informal cases that are initiated during the reporting period. These cases are often referred to as “unofficial” cases and include those cases in which no case number is assigned. Often informal cases are those in which juveniles are participating in pre-adjudication diversion programs.
Administrative Judge (AJ) and Individual Judge (IJ) Reports Integration for Municipal and County Courts
  • Unlike the reporting by the courts of common pleas, the reporting by the judges in municipal and county courts is accomplished via two separate reporting forms. Under Sup.R. 36, cases filed in municipal and county courts are not assigned to an individual judge until there is either an answer filed (in civil cases) or a plea of not guilty (in criminal and traffic cases). Consequently, many civil cases and criminal cases in municipal and county courts are disposed without having to be assigned to an individual judge. Instead, those cases are disposed during “particular sessions of court” and not pursuant to an individual judge assignment. Moreover, felony cases are never individually assigned because they are only heard preliminarily in municipal and county courts, and under Sup.R. 36 small claims are never assigned to an individual judge. All of the activities of the courts that occur pre-individual judge assignment (or completely outside of individual assignment, as in the case of felonies and small claims) are reported by the courts via Form AJ. Then, all further work on cases once they are assigned to individual judges is reported via Form IJ. For purposes of the dashboards, the data collected via both form types is integrated and displayed in a collective manner in the various visualizations except for the detailed tables containing termination data, which are displayed by form type.

    The formulas below are what is used to calculate the integrated numbers shown on the “Caseload and Performance” and “Dispositions” pages of the Municipal and County Court Statistics Dashboard.

    Pending Beginning of Period: AJ Line 1 + IJ Line 1
    New Filings: AJ Line 2
    Transfers and Reactivations: AJ Line 3 + IJ Line 3
    Total Incoming Cases (New Filings, Transfers and Reactivations): AJ Line 2+ AJ Line 3 + IJ Line 3
    Total Terminations: (AJ Line 14 + IJ Line 17)-AJ Line 7
    Number of Cases Pending Beyond Time Standards: AJ Line 16 + IJ Line 19
    Pending End of Period: AJ Line 15 +IJ Line 18