State Court Civil Cases

This page utilizes a sampling that comprises about 30 thousand state tort, contract, and real property cases terminated during fiscal 1992 in the general jurisdiction trial court of 45 of the nation's most populous counties. The data were gathered and assembled by the National Center for State Courts and disseminated by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research.

The data include the subject matter category (branches of tort, contract, and real property), the type of parties, the dates of filing and termination in the trial court, the procedural method of disposition, and, when a summary judgment or trial decision was entered, who prevailed.
(To get further information that should help in defining the critical terms, you can click on the highlighted terms or go to the 920KB ICPSR state codebook readable with Adobe Acrobat Reader. Also, the appendices to that codebook include three articles, produced by the DOJ's Bureau of Justice Statistics, that use and explain this database.)

This page makes the database available to you for performing certain statistical analyses.

  1. First, you specify the set of cases you want to examine.
  2. Second, you indicate what operations you want to perform on that data set.

First, let's define the particular data set that interests me.

Case category or categories of: Terminated from July 1,1991, to June 30, 1992,
in the county or counties of:
Cases with the primary plaintiff:

The primary defendant being:

Cases that terminated by the disposition method or device of:  

Notes on Specifying the Data Set:
  • On some browsers, e.g., Netscape for UNIX, you must click on the default choice to turn it off. On other browsers, clicking on any other choice will turn off the default. You can tell what you have selected by looking at which selections are highlighted.
  • Where multiple selections for a particular variable make sense, you may select more than one from the scrollable list by disengaging the default choice and then holding the control-key or Apple-key down while clicking on your selections.
  • If "all" or some other general grouping has been chosen together with any included subset of the selection variable--e.g., all counties and Pima County have been chosen--only the output for the grouping is generated. If you want output for a subset, do not select the more general grouping.
  • For the case categories and for the counties, we have shown the NCSC's code number as well as the name. The output will use only the code number. So, note the codes for the categories and counties that interest you, or download a list of names and numbers after clicking here.

Second, given the selected data set, I would like to know:
  • the number of such cases in the sample.
  • the time on the docket, being the mean, median, and standard deviation of the time from filing to termination for such cases that show the time.
  • the number of such cases that went to summary judgment (either for plaintiff or for defendant but not for both or for party unknown)--and the win rate or percentage of plaintiff wins among such judgments.
  • the number of such cases that went to trial decision (either for plaintiff or for defendant but not for both or for party unknown)--and the win rate or percentage of plaintiff wins among such decisions.
  • The default output will aggregate results by case category.
    If you would like cases aggregated on another available basis, select it here:


Copyright © 2002 by Theodore Eisenberg & Kevin M. Clermont
Cornell University
Cornell Law School
Cornell University
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Last updated: September 4, 2002