Caseloads of the Courts of Washington
Understanding Caseload Data
What Courts Are Displayed in These Tables?
The caseload tables presented here summarize caseloads of Washington courts. Data are drawn from the Judicial Information System (JIS), a statewide system of computer applications employed by the courts for recording and processing cases. The Supreme Court, all three divisions of the Court of Appeals, and all Washington State superior courts are represented in these automated databases and in the statistical tables presented here.
District and municipal courts which employ JIS, are represented in Courts of Limited Jurisdiction statistical tables. In addition, Seattle Municipal Court (although it does not employ JIS) is also represented, due to a special download from their local automated system. Information is not available for traffic violations bureaus (established in accordance with RCW 3.30.090) or for the small number of courts which do not employ JIS. Those violations bureaus and non-JIS courts process a combined total of about 5,000 cases per year approximately one-fourth of one percent of the statewide limited jurisdiction caseload.
Is All Court Activity Represented in These Tables?
The tables presented here profile the core judicial caseload of Washington's courts. Caseload tables do not comprise a complete workload report. Administrative activities, non-case activity, and off-bench case activity are not reflected in caseload statistics.
In addition, some limited jurisdiction courts choose to manage certain limited case activities off JIS. These may include felony preliminary activity, superior court arraignments, jail arraignments for other municipalities, in-custody defendant court appearances, bail hearings, investigative holds, fugitive complaints, extradition hearings, parking and coroner's inquests. Courts may be contacted individually to determine the nature and extent of any activity not entered in JIS.
Unlike other Washington State superior courts, Pierce County Superior Court employs a local computer system (LINX) for primary case-management, rather than the statewide case-management system (SCOMIS). To ensure statewide data needs are met, the County Clerk's office also enters key information into SCOMIS. Some information (such as mental illness proceedings) may be incomplete. When employing or interpreting Pierce County caseload information published here, it is advisable to verify figures with the Pierce County Clerk's Office.
In order to determine funding and staffing needs, it is necessary to supplement caseload information with additional information obtainable from individual courts.
Similarly, caseload revenues do not reflect all monies receipted by courts. Funds held in escrow or trust, cost-recovery reimbursements (which are retained locally rather than subject to state revenue splits), and non-case receipts are not included in the figures presented in these tables. For a complete picture of funds received, contact individual courts.
Additional References for Caseload Data
A glossary is included with each court level.
Court of Appeals,
Superior Court, and the
Courts of Limited Jurisdiction.
Please consider the definitions and reporting conventions detailed in the glossary when interpreting statistics provided in the tables. Also be certain to look at the bottom of any table you read; footnotes can have a significant impact on interpretation of the figures within the table.
Courts can find additional information concerning counting protocols and required data-entry procedures in the following manuals:
- Appellate Court Statistical Reporting and Docketing Manual
- Washington State Superior Court Statistical Reporting Manual
- "Caseload Report" section of the JIS Reports Manual for Courts of Limited Jurisdiction.