For the past two weeks, we’ve been taking our first look at the composition of the California Supreme Court’s civil and criminal dockets, reviewing the sources of appellate jurisdiction from which the Court’s cases are drawn. Today, we begin the final week of our analysis, covering the years 2011 to 2015.
Final judgments were a bit down in 2011 as a share of the docket, with the Court deciding 15 cases, or 46.88% of the civil docket. The next biggest share of the docket was petitions for writ of mandate, at 21.88% of the docket. The Court decided four certified questions, accounting for another 12.5%. The Court decided three petitions for writs of administrative mandate. The remainder of the docket was accounted for by one arbitration case, one workers’ compensation case, and one appeal arising from an anti-SLAPP motion.
The following year, final judgments remained steady at 46.15% of the civil docket. Traditional writ petitions and petitions for writ of administrative mandate each accounted for 15.38% of the docket. The Court heard two cases arising from post-judgment orders, and two more arbitration cases (7.69% each). Finally, the Court heard one case arising from an injunctive order, and one case under the Court’s original jurisdiction (3.85% each).
In 2013, final judgments edged up slightly as a share of the civil docket, as the Court decided 17 such cases, or 53.13% of the civil docket. Petitions for writs of mandate to the lower courts were another 21.88% of the docket. The Court decided three certified questions, or 9.38% of the docket. Petitions for writs of administrative mandate were down somewhat, as the Court heard only two. Finally, the Court heard one case each arising from arbitration, an injunctive order, and an appeal from the Family or Probate Codes.
Appeals from final judgments reached their highest level of recent years in 2014, amounting to 56.52% of the civil docket. Petitions for writs of mandate to lower courts and writs of administrative mandate were dead even at 13.04% apiece. The Court heard two certified questions from the Ninth Circuit, one appeal from a post-judgment order, and one appeal from an injunctive order (4.35% each).
Last year, final judgments declined again as a fraction of the civil docket at 46.88%. For the first time in the past five years, petitions for writ of administrative mandate surpassed traditional mandate, with administrative cases amounting to 15.63% of the civil docket to 6.25% in traditional mandate to the lower courts. The Court heard two cases each arising from injunctions, post-judgment orders and workers’ compensation awards. The rest of the docket last year was scattered, with one case each (3.13% of the civil docket each) arising from injunctions, certified questions under C.C.P. 166.1, a petition to set aside a judgment and a public records request.
Join us back here tomorrow as we wrap up this phase of our analysis with a look at the criminal docket between 2011 and 2015.