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Tennessee continues downward trend for Circuit and Chancery court case filings in the most recent reported fiscal year.

Posted on Oct 7 2013 9:28AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

Each year the Tennessee Judiciary publishes an annual report discussing the Tennessee judiciary.  This report provides helpful statistics on case filings and other important legal system information for Tennessee.  The fiscal year, 2011-2012 report is the most recent report that has been released to date (the 2012-2013 report should be out soon). 

 

One thing that stands out in the report is the continued decline in the number of cases filed in Tennessee Circuit and Chancery Courts.  The trend line is pretty clear for both courts from 2005 to present (the data from the prior years was pulled from prior annual statistical reports).  This downward trend exists despite the fact that Tennessee has had good population growth since 2005 of approximately (approximately 9% from 2005 to present going from around 5.97 million to 6.51 million people).

 

The total number of case filings for Tennessee Chancery courts from 2005 to 2012 is as follows:

 

            2005-2006                                                                     68,567

            2006-2007                                                                     66,994

            2007-2008                                                                     63,256

            2008-2009                                                                     64,715

            2009-2010                                                                     64,631

            2010-2011                                                                     62,721

            2011-2012                                                                     62,392

 

The number of case filings will likely continue this downward trend that will most likely get even steeper because Tennessee Workers Compensation cases will no longer be filed in the Court system for injury dates on or after July 1, 2014.  I expect this will cause even a steeper decline in Chancery cases that are filed.  If the number of cases filed in Tennessee Chancery courts simply kept up with population growth since 2005, then the total number of cases filed in Chancery court would have been approximately 74,738 in 2011-2012 fiscal year, not 62,392.

 

The total number of case filings for Tennessee Circuit courts from 2005 to 2012 is as follows:

 

            2005-2006                                                                     67,090

            2006-2007                                                                     64,837

            2007-2008                                                                     62,204

            2008-2009                                                                     64,296

            2009-2010                                                                     63,536

            2010-2011                                                                     62,733

            2011-2012                                                                     62,243

 

It will be interesting to see if these declines level off or if they continue.  There have been steps taken by the Tennessee legislature to adopt “tort reform” that may also have some impact on these numbers.  If the number of cases filed in Circuit courts simply kept up with population growth since 2005, then the total number of cases filed in Circuit court would have been approximately 73,128 in 2011-2012 fiscal year, not 62,243.

 

Follow me on Twitter at @jasonalee for updates from the Tennessee Defense Litigation blog.

TAGS: Tennessee Tort Reform, Tennessee Legal Statistics
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Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. He practices in all areas of defense litigation inside and outside of Tennessee.

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