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U.S. Court of Federal Claims - Judicial Business 2012

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims has nationwide jurisdiction over a variety of monetary claims against the federal government, including those involving tax refunds, federal taking of private property for public use, pay and dismissal of federal civilian employees, pay and dismissal of military personnel, land claims brought by Native Americans and/or their tribe(s), contract disputes, bid protests, patents and copyright, congressional reference, and the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Act. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 791(c), each January the clerk of the court transmits to Congress a report of the business of the court, which notes the names of the claimants, the nature of the claims, and the disposition for all judgments rendered the previous year.

Filings in the court increased 10 percent to 958 in 2012. Cases involving contracts rose by 35 to 157. Vaccine cases grew by 21 to 402. Tax cases went up by 19 to 73. Cases involving property taken increased by 16 to 50 because of suits alleging that the federal government took unused railroad rights-of-way and converted them to recreational trails without reimbursing owners.

Case terminations increased 29 percent to 3,391, largely because of the dismissal of a group of cases claiming that vaccines containing Thimerosol were related to the occurrence of autism. As terminations exceeded filings, pending cases dropped 48 percent to 2,678.

For actions terminated in 2012, the amount claimed by plaintiffs/petitioners exceeded $46 billion. Judgments for plaintiffs/petitioners exceeded $800 million, of which more than $22 million carried interest. Judgments for the United States on counterclaims or offsets totaled more than $3.5 million. Under its nonmonetary jurisdiction, the court disposed of 92 contract cases seeking injunctive or declaratory relief.

From 2008 to 2012, filings in the court rose 1 percent to 958. During that five-year period, case terminations have increased 191 percent to 3,391, and pending cases have dropped 64 percent to 2,678.

For data on the case filings in the Court of Federal Claims, see Tables G-2A and G-2B.