Trial Court Staffing and Judicial Needs EstimatesDistrict Courts
Judicial Needs Estimates by Full-Time Equivalents, 2012 Projected Filings1
1. Year 2012 projected filings are based on the previous five-year filing trends of the various case types in a given court. Any vehicle-related violations (parking, photo-radar and toll citations) that were not entered into the statewide Judicial Information System (JIS) are excluded from filing counts.
2. Need estimates represent the estimated number of judge positions needed, as required by RCW 2.56.030(11). They are based on the previous five years of data for the number of total judicial officers and case resolutions.
* Judges and Total Estimated Judge Need exclude a full-time presiding judge who is unavailable to hear cases. Currently, this only applies to King County as required by local ordinance.
Description of Courts of Limited Jurisdiction Judicial Needs Estimation
In August 2002, a new methodology for estimating judicial needs of the courts of limited jurisdiction was adopted by the Administrative Office of the Courts in conjunction with the District and Municipal Court Judges’ Association. Beginning with the 2002 Annual Report, a yearly table is published displaying court-level judicial needs estimates using this methodology, along with a brief description of the process.
The district and municipal court model for estimating judicial needs is workload based. The estimates are derived from a statistical model with two primary data components: (1) the observed caseload processed, and (2) the number of available judicial officers. The caseload measure is represented by case resolutions, and the judicial officer measure is represented by judge and commissioner FTEs. In order to ensure that a good representative sample underlies the estimation, the data are drawn from courts across the state and from the past several years. Estimates are presented for selected municipal courts.
This type of approach has wide usage in a number of diverse applications and so provides a well-established base model. An inherent advantage of this methodology is the facility to capture changes in practice over time.
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