Yesterday, we began our review of the Illinois Supreme Court’s civil and criminal dockets, analyzing the primary areas of the law from which the Court’s caseload is drawn. Today, we address the years 2002-2004.
The civil docket data for 2002 is reported in Table 195 below. Tort law was up substantially from 2001 to 2002, now amounting to 34% of the civil docket. Civil procedure cases were up slightly to 16% of the docket. Government and administrative law cases were flat, still amounting to 12% of the docket. Constitutional law was down slightly, amounting to 8% of the civil caseload in 2002. Workers’ compensation and employment law cases were 6% of the docket apiece. Property, insurance and domestic relations cases accounted for 4% of the docket each (2 cases apiece). The Court heard one case each falling in contract law, public employee pensions and trusts, wills and estates.
Habeas corpus cases were once again the most common area of the law in the criminal docket in 2002, accounting for 27.14% of the caseload. Constitutional law cases were down slightly, contributing 25.71% of the criminal docket. Criminal procedure cases were once again flat, accounting for 11.43%. Sentencing and juvenile offenses cases were 10% of the docket each. By 2002, death penalty direct appeals had fallen to 7.14% of the criminal docket. Another 2.86% of the docket arose from cases involving the elements of violent crimes. The Court rounded out its docket with one case each involving attorney admission and discipline, drug offenses, sex offenses and mental health issues.
In 2003, tort cases were substantially down and government and administrative cases were up, with tort cases falling to 19.57% of the docket, and government and administrative law cases accounting for 21.74%. Civil procedure cases fell slightly to 15.22% of the docket. Domestic relations cases were up to 10.87% of the docket. Constitutional and insurance law cases were up slightly (8.7% and 6.52%, respectively). The Court heard two cases each involving workers’ compensation and public employee pensions (4.35% of the civil docket), and one case each in tax, secured transactions, trusts, wills and estates and consumer law.
The data on the criminal docket for 2003 is reported in Table 198 below. Constitutional law cases were up sharply, amounting to 38.46% of the criminal docket. Criminal procedure cases were up substantially as well, contributing 21.54% of the caseload. Juvenile offense cases were flat, accounting for 10.77%. Habeas corpus cases fell by nearly three quarters as a fraction of the overall criminal docket, accounting for only 7.69%. Sentencing law cases were down slightly to 7.69%, and the decline of death penalty appeals continued (4.62%). The Court heard two cases involving sex offenses and one case each involving attorney admission and discipline, violent crimes, drug crimes and mental health issues.
In 2004, tort cases were up slightly and government and administrative law cases were down substantially as a fraction of the criminal docket (22.22% and 12.96%, respectively). Constitutional law cases also comprised another 12.96% of the docket. Domestic relations cases were up slightly to 11.11% of the criminal docket. Civil procedure was down significantly to 7.41% of the caseload, and insurance was down slightly to 5.56%. The Court heard an additional two cases each in contract, tax, workers’ compensation, arbitration and trusts, wills & estates law. Finally, the Court heard one case each falling under property, election, environmental, consumer and public pensions law.
Finally, we turn to the criminal docket in 2004. Constitutional law fell significantly as a fraction of the docket, accounting for 24.56% of the caseload. Criminal procedure produced 22.81% of the docket. Habeas cases were up slightly, contributing 12.28% of the docket. Juvenile offenses and sex crimes accounted for 8.77% of the docket each, and sentencing law a further 7.02%. Cases involving the elements of violent crimes were 5.26% of the caseload. By 2004, death penalty appeals had fallen to 3.51% of the criminal docket, and mental health issues accounted for another 3.51%. Attorney admission and discipline and administrative offenses contributed one each case – 1.75% of the criminal docket apiece.
Join us back here next week as we look at the Court’s civil and criminal dockets between 2005 and 2009.