Last week, we looked at the average time under submission at the Illinois Supreme Court from allowance of the petition for leave to appeal to oral argument to decision. Over at the California Supreme Court, we’ve shown that affirmances generally take longer at each step of the way than reversals do. So is there a similar correlation in Illinois? At least one significant difference between appellate procedure in Illinois and California would suggest that the correlation might not hold. In California, cases must be decided within ninety days of the oral argument. As a result, by far the largest portion of the total lag time is the period from grant of review to argument. In Illinois, there are no similar statutes. So what does the data show?
Our database includes 97 affirmances and 136 reversals. In civil cases between 2010 and 2016, affirmances have remained pending from allowance of the petition for leave to appeal to argument for two and a half weeks longer that reversals. Affirmances have been pending for 201.304 days. Reversals have been pending from allowance to argument for 183.053 days.
So measuring lag time as the period from allowance of the petition for leave to appeal to oral argument, the relationship in Illinois is the same – civil affirmances take longer than reversals. What about the lag time from oral argument to decision? We report the data in Table 446 below. Here, the relationship is reversed – reversals average 145.882 days from argument to decision, while affirmances are typically handed down 128.082 days after the argument.
The data doesn’t vary as widely as it does in California. The standard deviation for affirmances from PLA allowance to argument is 69.699, meaning that 68% of the data observations fall within 69.699 days plus or minus from the mean. Reversals were almost identical, with a standard deviation of 65.4542. The standard deviation for affirmances from argument to decision is 104.031, while for reversals, it’s 63.5.
Join us back here tomorrow as we turn our attention to the Court’s criminal cases.