Bar News - May 4, 2007
New Hampshire Supreme Court Case Filings 2003-2006
In 2003, the final year of discretionary review, the court accepted 41 percent of cases filed and disposed of 59 percent of cases after screening. Because most cases were disposed of after screening, the time period from filing to disposition was fairly short.
The largely mandatory appeal process began with appeals filed in 2004. Under this process, most appeals of state trial court decisions are automatically accepted for review, and parties are given the opportunity to file briefs and the trial court record. After briefs have been filed in a case, the court reviews the briefs and other case materials to decide whether the case should be scheduled for oral argument.
After any oral argument, the court issues a final decision. Because most cases are no longer disposed of at the time of screening, the mandatory process of review has lengthened the time that cases are pending, and this led, initially, to a decrease in the number of case dispositions. As cases filed under the mandatory process matured, the number of cases disposed of has increased, and in 2005 and 2006, the number of cases disposed of by dispositions was slightly less than the number of cases filed. On an ongoing basis, the court’s goal is to dispose of approximately the same number of cases each year as the number of cases filed.
NH Supreme Court Cases 2003-2006
2003 2004 2005 2006
Cases Filed 842 898 938 953
Cases Accepted 347 645 733 673
Full court 193 182 138 174
3JX 80 95 91 88
Total 273 277 229 262
Case Dispositions 893 721 884 879
Disposition rate 106.06% 80.28% 94.24% 92.24%
Cases pending at year-end 338 523 671 745
The table above shows the number of cases filed, accepted, and disposed of for the calendar years from 2003-2006.
This information, provided by the NH Supreme Court, was included in the New Hampshire Bar Association Continuing Legal Education publication: “Supreme Court Judicial Forum,” for the 2007 Midyear Meeting CLE held on Feb. 15, 2007.