Fiscal Year 2015 Statistical Trends In Federal Court

Most of us spent New Year’s Eve watching dreadful football games and hoisting adult beverages—not John Roberts. No, the Chief Justice of the United States worked through the night and disclosed the annual report on the federal judiciary. Here are some fun facts that you might find of interest for Fiscal Year 2015: (1) the number of cases filed in the Supreme Court decreased by 4.65% from 7,376 to 7,033 filings; (2) in the regional courts of appeals, filings dropped 4% to 52,698; (3) in the district courts, the number of new criminal cases was steady, declining 1% to 80,069. Some details on the types of cases that were filed–defendants accused of immigration crimes dropped 5% while those charged with property offenses (including fraud) fell 6%. Defendants charged with drug crimes accounted for 32% of the new cases, rising 2%. Increases were also experienced in firearms and explosives cases, sex offenses, and violent crimes; and (4) a total of 135,468 persons were under post-sentence supervision at the end of the fiscal year, an increase of 2% over the prior year. Of that number, 114,961 persons were serving terms of supervised release, an increase of over 3%.