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Judiciary Releases Annual Report and Judicial Business Data

The Judiciary today released its Annual Report providing detailed information about mission critical initiatives that advanced over the course of 2023, including efforts to enhance the court system’s physical and information technology security and modernize its IT systems.

“Many of these initiatives will go far in shaping the Judiciary’s future,” wrote Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr., the incoming Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AO). “I look forward to working with the judges, court executives, and staff to deliver excellence in the pursuit of justice for all.”

Conrad took over the leadership of the AO from Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf on March 1, 2024, following Mauskopf’s retirement.

The report is presented in 13 chapters and describes the work of the AO and the courts in 2023. In addition to major improvements to IT systems, the Judiciary continued vital work to foster an exemplary workforce across the courts and it made important strides in implementing the Vulnerability Management Program as judges and their families continued to cope with external threats.

For example, the report details the operations of the AO’s new Judiciary Security Operations Branch, which assists judges, their families, and court staff with physical security and emergency preparedness. The branch coordinates closely with the U.S. Marshals Service, the Federal Protective Service, and the General Services Administration (GSA), which owns the nation’s federal courthouses, to address deficiencies in local court security measures.

As in past years, the Judiciary also released an accompanying Judicial Business of the United States report, which provides statistical tables about federal caseloads by circuit, district, and offense, among other topics. It compares data for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2023, with data for prior years.

The report shows that total filings in the U.S. district courts rose 18 percent, to 405,878. Civil case filings increased 24 percent, to 339,731, while criminal defendant filings decreased 3 percent, to 66,147. In the regional courts of appeals, filings dropped 4 percent to 39,987. Bankruptcy court filings went up 13 percent to 433,658 as 85 of the 90 bankruptcy courts received more petitions.

The two reports are required by statute and are provided to Congress, the executive branch, the public, and the Judicial Conference of the United States, the federal courts’ policy-making body.

Related Topics: Statistics