Caseflow management is the coordination of court processes and resources so that court cases progress in a timely fashion from filing to disposition. Judges and administrations can enhance justice when a court supervises case progress from the time of filing, sets meaningful events and deadlines throughout the life of a case, and provides credible trial dates. Proven practices in caseflow management include case-disposition time standards, early court intervention and continuous court control of case progress, use of differentiated case management, meaningful pretrial events and schedules, limiting of continuances, effecting calendaring and docketing practices, use of information systems to monitor age and status of cases, and control of post-disposition case events.
Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may
be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.
This database compiles state-by-state information about Case Processing Time Standards (CPTS) and how states monitor them.
Court Consulting Services provides caseflow management and delay reduction services to general, limited appellate and special jurisdiction (such as juvenile, family, probate, drug, and enforcement) courts.
CourTools offers a way to evaluate performance by using Trial Court Performance Measures: Number 2: Clearance Rates; Number 3: Time to Disposition; Number 4: Age of Active Pending Caseload; Number 5: Trial Date Certainty.
This is an eLearning course offered by the Institute for Court Management. In this course, participants will assess the effectiveness of their court's caseflow management system and learn how to develop a system that ensures timely and just disposition of all cases in collaboration with stakeholders. Participants will also learn the fundamentals of caseflow management, strategies to create or enhance their court's caseflow management program, and how to adopt an effective differentiated case management plan. This course is ongoing.
Some probate courts are now considering time standards and new case management strategies and tools to handle expanding caseloads, including differentiated case management (DCM) both before and after fiduciary appointment.
The Model Standards was approved in August 2011 by the Conference of State Court Administrators, Conference of Chief Justices, American Bar Association House of Delegates and the National Association for Court Management. They are the comprehensive set of time standards that cover all types of cases.
Traces the development of caseflow management since the 1970s, analyzes current issues and innovations, and looks toward the future.
National Association of Court Management.
This report discusses what the California Administrative Office of the Court did wrong and why the Statewide Case Management Project faces significant challenges due to poor project management.
This document provides a model continuance policy for use by courts to achieve more effective caseflow management.
This brief article describes how caseflow management can successfully address issues of case volume and workload in the courts, and provides examples.
This report provides state-by-state information about case processing time standards and how courts monitor compliance with the standards.
This report outlines many ways in which courts can improve caseflow management including trial management, dispositions, timing, leadership and others.
This report deals with issues in trial court administration arising from an amendment to the Arkansas constitution that merged multiple trial courts into a two-tier system with one general-jurisdiction circuit court and one limited-jurisdiction district court.
This seminal report presents analysis of the pace of litigation and its correlates based on 1987 felony and civil case data from 39 urban trial courts.
This report shows how demonstration courts evaluate symptoms of delay in the context of many factors, as well as explaining that delay is both a problem and a sympton of other underlying problems facing courts.
This report represents a three-year study of case-processing times in 18 general jurisdiction trial courts in several urban areas in the U.S. to provide a picture of the pace of criminal and civil litigation. Reports' conclusion is that delay is not inevitable and there are ways for successful caseflow management.
Washington, DC: Federal Judicial Center.
Denver: National Center for State Courts, Institute for Court Management.
Williamsburg, VA: National Center for State Courts.
Improving the Current Flow of Adult Involuntary Treatment Act Cases
The study is directed at suggesting ways to institute additional efficiencies and improvements in light of continued shrinking resources while simultaneously not appreciably diminishing either the access to or the quality of justice in the Judicial District Court.
This study ordered by a judge that pushed for a more efficient warrant database. Specifically, the author focused on ridding the database of deceased individuals in order to make it more user-friendly. The author includes how to replicate his research for other counties in this article.
This article, based on research conducted in the Circuit Court of Cook County (Chicago) from June 2006 through March 2007, addresses the challenge of a large, urban felony court in reducing delay through the introduction of a Differentiated Case Management (DCM) system.
This report was prepared under a February 2009 agreement between the National Center for State Courts and the Bernalillo County for a study of felony case processing in the Second Judicial District Court of New Mexico.
This report addresses challenges facing court operations and concerns voiced by judges and other stakeholders regarding case management practices. Thirteen recommendations are made to improve the court's calendar system and case management practices.
Because of the detrimental impact on children, it is important that litigation be concluded as rapidly as possible, consistent with due process. Depsite the development of court performance measures for timeliness, the lack of national data suggests that specific attention to the charging and court-resolution time of child sexual abuse cases has not been prioritized.
Bureau of Justice Assistance, American University.
This article presents the findings of an investigation of the time expended by fourteen state supreme courts to resolve direct appeals of capital convictions and sentences.
This document provides a model plea cut-off policy for use by courts to achieve more effective caseflow management.
The Justice Management Institute.
Denver, CO: National Center for State Courts, Court Services Division.
Chicago: Cook County Circuit Court.
Denver, CO: National Center for State Courts, Institute for Court Management.
Washington, DC, Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Assistance.
This seminal report examines criminal and civil cases from six demonstration sites (superior court, Camden County, NJ; superior court, Pierce County, WA; district court, Ramsey County, Minnesota; Detroit Recorder's Court; and Berrien County, Michigan).
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance.
An Assessment of Guardianship and Conservatorship Procedures in the Probate and Mental Health Department of the Maricopa County Superior Court
Williamsburg, Virginia: National Center for State Courts.
Rural courts face unique challenges posed by their locations in sparsely populated areas, often with limited resources for themselves and for court users. In many places, however, the challenges are being overcome through effective use of modern technology and support from state administrative offices of courts.