Supreme Court releases 2019 annual report

The Indiana Supreme Court has released its annual report, revealing details from the 870 cases it reviewed during the past fiscal year, as well updates on its attempts to address Indiana’s opioid crisis, and its milestones of certifying 100 problem-solving courts and wrapping up the rollout of statewide electronic filing.

For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018 and ending June 30, 2019, the Supreme Court justices heard 49 oral arguments and handed published 86 opinions. In addition to 22 per curiam opinions handed down by the high court, the justices wrote 43 majority and 21 non-majority opinions. Justices were unanimous in 67% of those opinions.

Last July, nearly 1,000 individuals attended a Statewide Opioid Summit hosted by the Supreme Court to address and tackle the state’s opioid addiction crisis. Justice professionals from all 92 Indiana counties participated.

Additionally, the high court celebrated its certification of Indiana’s 100th problem-solving court in April. By the end of the fiscal year on June 30, Indiana had 103 certified problem-solving courts.

Justices also celebrated reaching the court’s goal to implement statewide e-filing in all three appellate courts and in trial courts alike. By the end of the fiscal year, 91 counties had e-filing available with the final county scheduled to begin using the system just after the start of the next fiscal year. Since its implementation, more than 7.6 million documents have been filed electronically.

Among other statistics listed in the report:

  • 415 of 693 applicants passed the Indiana bar exam. The average bar exam average success rate for the fiscal year was 60% — nearly 10 percentage points less than that in fiscal year 2015.
  • Justice Steven David issued the most majority decisions — 11 opinions — along with four dissents. In contrast, Justice Geoffrey Slaughter wrote the most dissents by a landslide — 11, compared to the next-highest number of four from David and Chief Justice Loretta Rush. Justices Mark Massa and Christopher Goff wrote even fewer non-majority opinions, at two and one, respectively.
  • Nearly 85% of Indiana’s new caseload was filed in the Odyssey Case management System.

The report, which also includes reports for additional agencies that operate as arm as of the Supreme Court, is available here.

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