Fifth Court of Appeals

Texas Courts of Appeals Praised for Record Performance 

Austin - Timely resolution of court cases is a hallmark of an effective judicial system. While getting the right result is vital, ensuring that litigants receive prompt resolution of their cases is also an important goal for Texas' fourteen courts of appeals. During the most recent fiscal year, Texas' fourteen courts of appeals had a productive year advancing these goals.

Not since 1989 have the courts of appeals been so productive in timely resolving the cases before them. The courts of appeals wrote over 10,500 opinions in the fiscal year – an average of 132 per justice - and ended the year with the lowest number of pending cases since 1990. The courts of appeals saw the average time between filing and disposition for civil cases drop to 7.6 months and criminal cases to 9.2 months. The courts of appeals closed more cases than were filed in all case types, with an overall clearance rate of 105 percent.

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht praised the courts of appeals for their efforts. "Each of the courts of appeals has devoted itself to delivering timely justice to the people of Texas. Through their efforts this year, the courts accomplished what has not been done in many years. I applaud the hard work and commitment of the justices on the courts of appeals."

Jeff Rose, Chief Justice of the Third Court of Appeals in Austin and Chairman of the Council of Chief Justices, stated, "The courts of appeals work hard to provide timely, well-reasoned opinions in the face of challenging dockets. Through the efforts of the justices and court staff, along with the support given to us by the Legislature, we are proud to have had such a productive year. However, our work is not done, as our docket never sleeps. We are committed to providing legally sound, yet timely, resolution to appeals in Texas for years to come."

The Texas court system is divided into three broad levels of courts, with trial courts, courts of appeals and the high courts – the Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals. Except in death penalty cases, the fourteen courts of appeals, with their eighty justices, are the first place to appeal for individuals seeking review of a decision of the trial courts. Each year, between 10,000 to 12,000 civil and criminal cases are appealed to the courts of appeals.

Contact: David Slayton (512) 463-1625