I. Introduction

These time standards are promulgated to provide judges and clerk-magistrates with specific maximum time periods within which civil cases (1) should progress between court events and (2) should be disposed. The purpose of these time standards is to promote timely disposition of civil cases and to provide a basis for assessing the movement of civil cases from commencement to disposition in each division of the two departments in which they apply.

The time standards are divided into three categories, each comprised of specific types of civil actions ("casetypes") and each governed by a specific standard for a maximum time to disposition.

In general, these three time standard categories reflect the complexity (or potential complexity) of the casetypes each includes, with the least complex in Category A, the more complex in Category B, and the most complex (or potentially complex) in Category C.

The casetypes in Category A consist mainly of actions that by law must be disposed well within the two-month maximum. For these cases the time standard will provide a basis for periodically confirming that no cases are unaccounted for or overlooked.

Two casetypes in Category B, summary process and small claims, have "staircased" time standards to reflect the fact that significant numbers of these cases should be disposed well before their overall maximum time to disposition.

Category C, which consists of tort and contract actions, also has "staircased" time standards to reflect the fact that most of these cases should be disposed well before the overall maximum time limit.

II. The Time Standards

Category A —Time to Disposition: Upon Filing or Not more than 2 months from commencement

Category B — Time to Disposition: Not more than 4 months from commencement

  • Summary Process: 50% NMT 1 month; 90% NMT 2 months; 100% NMT 4 months
  • Small Claims: 75% NMT 2 months; 100% NMT 4 months (5 months if de novo appeal claimed)
  • Civil Motor Vehicle Infractions (5 months if de novo appeal claimed)
  • Non-Motor Vehicle Civil Infractions (5 months if de novo appeal claimed) (see attached list)
  • Supplementary Process
  • Judicial Review of Administrative Decisions (see attached list)
  • Other Specialized Civil Actions (see attached list)

Category C — Tort and Contract Actions


C-1 Time to Disposition: Not more than 6 months from commencement

75% of Total Dispositions

  • Cases dismissed for plaintiffs failure to make timely service
  • Cases disposed by default judgment
  • Cases disposed by voluntary dismissal, agreement for judgment or other consensual disposition

C-2 Time to Disposition: Not more than 12 months from commencement

20% of Total Dispositions

  • Cases disposed by bench trial
  • Cases disposed by voluntary dismissal, agreement for judgment or other consensual disposition
  • Cases dismissed for plaintiffs failure to seek default judgment

C-3 Time to Disposition: Not more than 18 months from commencement

5% of Total Dispositions

  • Cases disposed by jury trial
  • Cases disposed by bench trial after having been scheduled for jury trial
  • Cases disposed by voluntary dismissal, agreement for judgment or other consensual disposition after having been scheduled for trial

Maximum Intervals Between Court Events:

  • From Answer to Case Management Conference Date: Not More Than 4 Months
  • From Case Management Conference to Pretrial Conference Date: Not More Than 7 Months
  • From Pretrial Conference to Trial: Not More Than 3 Months

Appendix

Non-Motor Vehicle Civil Infractions (Category B) include:

Judicial Review of Administrative Decisions (Category B) includes:

Other Specialized Civil Actions (Category B) include:

Originally Promulgated: October 1, 2004, to be effective November 1, 2004 Amended: July 1, 2008 for cases filed on and after January 1, 2008.