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Contract Cases in Large Counties: Civil Justice Survey of State Courts, 1992

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 1996
15 pages
C J DeFrances; S K Smith
Publication Series
This report provides statistics on contract cases in State courts of general jurisdiction in the Nation's 75 largest counties during a 1-year period ending in June 1992.
For each sampled case, a standard coding form was manually completed by court staff onsite to record information about the litigants, case type, disposition type, and processing time. Information for which data were not available included the cost of litigation for the parties involved, as well as for others, and the settlement results. The courts surveyed disposed of approximately 366,000 contract cases in 1992. Cases that involved contract disputes comprised approximately half of all the tort, contract, and real property cases disposed in these jurisdictions. The most frequent type of contract dispute involved the plaintiff as a seller seeking compensation from a buyer or borrower. In contract cases, businesses composed approximately two-thirds of the plaintiffs and individuals about a quarter. Defendants in contract cases were most often businesses, followed by individuals. Almost two-thirds of the contract cases were disposed within 1 year of filing the complaint. Approximately half of the contract cases were resolved through an agreed judgment by the litigating parties. Less than 3 percent were concluded by a jury or bench trial. In an additional quarter of the cases, the court issued a default judgment, because the defendants failed to respond to the complaint or make a court appearance. 13 tables

Date Created: July 5, 2018