Judge John Bowman of Fort Lauderdale, Florida presides over courts at the circuit case level. As a circuit judge, Judge John Bowman’s hearings include both criminal and civil cases. Of the many issues related to court hearings, caseload management is central to the everyday operations of the court.
Caseload management refers to the queuing process and the expediency of hearing cases from the time of filing to disposition. Several factors influence the queuing process of cases moving through the legal system. Political, economic, or social factors usually influence how soon a case is heard. The number of motions and complex underlying issues can prolong a case. Disagreements between judges may also prolong the judicial process. Finally, issues related to the potential for those involved in a case to be harmed affect how soon the case is heard.
In general, however, cases that are less involved and can be resolved quickly take less time while those that are complicated take longer. In-state courts, reasons for shorter queuing times relate to the accessibility of the internet and online tools in resolving cases without involving the court. Alternatively, at the Supreme Court level, other issues might be at hand.
One study used a decay model to compare the queuing process of three courts at the Supreme Court level. It found that most cases heard at the Supreme Court level are quickly settled with a few outliers. The study concluded that this process was universal.