City of Austin Performance Report 2015-16

Number of Cases Set on Scheduled Dockets and Appearing at Walk-in Dockets

Measure Description
This measure reflects the Municipal Court’s criminal caseload that requires physical appearance before judges. It affects the amount of judicial resources needed by the court, as well as other court resources including clerical support, jurors, interpreters and courtroom availability. It also indicates the amount of prosecutorial resources required of the City’s Law Department.
Calculation Method
This measure is calculated as the sum of all cases that were set on dockets, including the walk-in docket.  The defendants for the majority of cases filed in the Austin Municipal Court never appear before a judge but handle their cases through the Internet, mail or by clerical staff. This measure counts the number of criminal cases (traffic, city ordinance, state misdemeanor) set on a docket, including the walk-in docket. Red light camera and most parking cases would be excluded from this number because they are civil cases.
FY 2015-16 Results
For FY 2015-16, the expected number of cases docketed was 112,000. The total number of cases docketed was 97,116, which was 13.3% below projection. Of the total cases tracked for this measure, 63% were for appearances, 25% for walk-in/other, and 13% for trials.   
Assessment of Results
The lower than projected number of cases set on a scheduled docket and appearing at walk-in dockets was primarily due to enhanced online services, which provided alternative methods for citizens to handle cases. Services provided online have impacted the number of scheduled dockets needed, which has led to a modification of the master docket. The decrease in total cases filed, from 351,757 in FY 2014-15 to 323,503 in FY 2015-16, had a direct impact on the number of cases scheduled on dockets and appearing at walk-in dockets.
Next Steps
Court will continue to review services that may be provided online or by clerical staff, as opposed to having to be scheduled to appear before a judge. The court will also explore quicker access to prosecutorial services, which may result in defendants not having to be placed on appearance dockets or defendants deciding not to continue to trial. 
Contact Information
For more information contact Mary Jane Grubb, Court Clerk, at (512) 974-4692.