Appellate workhorse

The Michigan Court of Appeals has docketed a lot of cases in its 45-year history.

A state constitution that guarantees, with a few exceptions, an appeal as of right also guarantees a hefty workload for the COA.

The court recently docketed case number 300,000.

The COA did some justifiable boasting to mark the occasion:

Although it is one of the highest-volume appellate courts in the country, the Court of Appeals has an annual clearance rate of at least 100 percent — it decides as many appeals as are filed in any given year. And the Court of Appeals decides roughly 90 percent of its cases within 18 months of filing.

Despite budget cuts and staff reductions, the Court has maintained these high disposition rates by implementing cost-effective processes and technologies, such as e-filing. E-filing also benefits the parties to an appeal by allowing them to file documents electronically, rather than having to travel to one of the Court’s four district offices.

Chief Judge William B. Murphy provided some context about what 300,000 cases represents:

This milestone is a reminder of the importance the Michigan Court of Appeals plays in the Michigan judicial system. Importantly, behind these numbers are individuals, families, and governmental and business interests that turn to our judicial system for peaceful resolution of disputes.

I am grateful to the judges and staff, past and present, who have served the public with integrity, competence and dedication.


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