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Report: Maryland bucks most U.S. court trends

Maryland’s federal court saw fewer filings in last year, with civil case filings dropping 1.7 percent and criminal filings dipping even more at 8.6 percent compared to the previous year.

The drop in civil case filings here ran contrary to the national trend, which saw a 2.2 increase. And, while criminal filings also fell across the country, the decline was only 3.3 percent, according to figures compiled by the Federal Judiciary in its annual Judicial Business of the United States Courts report.

As for pending matters, civil cases pending in Maryland dropped 8 percent from the prior year, while nationwide they increased 10.8 percent. Pending criminal cases increased 3.4 percent in Maryland while the country as a whole saw just a 0.2 percent increase.

The number of civil cases that were terminated rose in Maryland by 5.4 percent but dropped 6 percent for the U.S. The disparity was also stark for terminated criminal cases: In Maryland, the number plummeted by 18.6 percent, while dropping 6.8 percent nationwide.

The 2013 numbers come from data collected by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts for the year starting Sept. 20, 2012.

Federal cases filed

Statistics for court filings from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts

Civil cases

Of all civil cases filed, pending and terminated in Maryland, the largest number were Social Security cases, followed by prisoner petitions; civil forfeitures and penalties; and tort actions.

The median interval between filing and termination for civil cases in Maryland was 8.2 months in 2013, compared to 8.5 months nationally.

Of the pending civil cases in Maryland, most had been open for less than a year (2,133 cases), followed by one to two years (546). About 4.6 percent of civil cases have been pending for three years or more, compared to 9 percent in the country as a whole.


Of the federal criminal cases filed and terminated in Maryland in 2013, the largest number were fraud cases, followed by burglary, larceny and theft.

Most of the criminal cases pending in Maryland in 2013 were burglary, theft and larceny (496), followed by fraud (313). The U.S., meanwhile saw many more pending fraud cases — 14,369, compared to 4,357 for burglary, larceny and theft.

The median time between when criminal cases were filed to termination was 8.3 months in Maryland, higher than the national median of 6.8 months.