MASSACHUSETTS APPEALS COURT ACHIEVES GOAL
IN ELIMINATING CASE BACKLOG;
CITES EXPANSION OF APPEALS COURT AS PRIMARY
Boston, MA — Chief
Justice Christopher J. Armstrong today announced that the
Massachusetts Appeals Court has achieved its goal of eliminating
its appellate case backlog and cases considered by the
Court now are scheduled on a timely basis, in accordance
with appellate court case guidelines.
years ago, approximately 1400 cases on appeal had a waiting
time of 22 months for civil cases and about 14 months for
criminal cases to be heard or considered by the Justices. Today
it takes about five months from the filing of parties'
legal briefs to oral argument or consideration by the Court. Cases
briefed by February 1 are now considered by the Appeals
Court by June of the same year.
Justice Armstrong credits the legislation enacted in 2000,
which expanded the Appeals Court from 14 to 25 judges,
as the primary reason for the elimination of the case backlog. To
show the Court's appreciation to the bar, legislators and
executive branch leaders, and the media who supported its
effort to expand the number of Appeals Court Justices,
Chief Justice Armstrong and the Associate Justices invited
them to a breakfast reception at the Appeals Court Administrative
Office to thank them personally.
goal to eliminate the case backlog has been achieved because
of the steadfast determination of our judges and staff,
but we could not have accomplished our mission without
the aid and support of bar leaders and other lawyers, executive
and legislative branch leaders, and the editors of many
media outlets, who recognized our court's dire need
for more resources to administer justice. We are
grateful to all of them," said Chief Justice Armstrong.
Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall also applauded the Appeals Court's accomplishment. She said, "This is a spectacular achievement by the Appeals Court, one that could not have been done without the three branches of government working in concert toward a common goal. I particularly appreciate the support from legislative leaders and successive Governors. The Appeals Court can now deliver justice in a timely manner."