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2013 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary

Chief Justice’s Year-End Reports on the Federal Judiciary – December 31, 2013

“Sequestration cuts have affected court operations across the spectrum. There are fewer court clerks to process new civil and bankruptcy cases, slowing the intake procedure and propagating delays throughout the litigation process. There are fewer probation and pretrial services officers to protect the public from defendants awaiting trial and from offenders following their incarceration and release into the community. There are fewer public defenders available to vindicate the Constitution’s guarantee of counsel to indigent criminal defendants, which leads to postponed trials and delayed justice for the innocent and guilty alike. There is less funding for security guards at federal courthouses, placing judges, court personnel, and the public at greater risk of harm…In 2013, caseloads increased in the U.S. district courts, remained relatively stable in the probation offices, and decreased in the U.S. appellate courts, bankruptcy courts, and pretrial services system. Total filings for civil cases and criminal defendants in the district courts grew one percent to 375,870. The number of persons under post-conviction supervision on September 30, 2013, fell less than one percent to 131,869. Filings in the regional courts of appeals declined two percent to 56,475. Cases opened in the pretrial services system dropped six percent to 103,003. Filings in the bankruptcy courts decreased 12 percent to 1,107,699.”

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