In July, the Judicial Council released its annual statistics report for all California courts, including, of course, the Supreme Court.  A couple of weeks ago, the Supreme Court published its own year in review, also with statistics.  (Regarding last year’s review, see here.)

They are each entity’s most recent report, but cover different time periods.  The Judicial Council report is for fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020), while the Supreme Court’s review is more current, covering the court’s most recent completed term, from September 1, 2020 through August 31, 2021.

The Judicial Council report, which has numbers for the last 10 fiscal years, shows a continued decrease in total filings — 6,470 for fiscal year 2020, as opposed to 6,917 for the previous year; five years ago, total filings were 7,860, and fiscal year 2011 had 10,329.  The Supreme Court review similarly shows 6,409 during the last term.  Last term’s review reported 6,455 filings.

A much looked at stat is the success rate for petitions for review, a number available only in the Judicial Council report.  In fiscal year 2020, there were 50 straight grants out 3,575 petition rulings, or 1.4 percent.  (We took issue with the count of straight grants in last year’s report.  This year’s report looks right.)

The numbers are better for civil cases than criminal.  There were 22 straight civil grants out of 935 petition rulings, or 2.4 percent, and 28 straight criminal grants out of 2,640 rulings, or just over 1 percent.

The court issued 78 opinions in fiscal year 2020 and 55 last term.  The average annual number of opinions over the last 10 fiscal years is almost 90.  There were 92 opinions in fiscal year 2019, but only 76 each in fiscal years 2017 and 2018.

In fiscal year 2020, the court depublished 26 Court of Appeal opinions, the most in the previous 10 years.  Over that 10-year span, the court averaged 16.5 depublications per year, with a low of 6 in fiscal year 2014.  Similarly, the year-in-review reported 26 depublications during the last term.

The year-in-review report is not all numbers.  It includes discussion headings of Remote Oral Arguments Continue, Honoring Justice Cruz Reynoso (see also here), An Alternative Pathway to Licensure (see also here), and Clarifying the Precedential Effect of Court of Appeal Opinions (see also here), and it summarizes four “high profile cases” — In re Humphrey (see here), O.G. v. Superior Court (see here), People v. Lemcke (see here), and People v. McDaniel (see here).


The Supreme Court by the numbers