Court Filings Down

Cass County District Court filings totaled less than 700 in 2009, the first time that’s happened in several years. There were 603 cases filed last year. That compares to 719 in 2008, 731 in 2007, 748 in 2006, 753 in 2005 and 741 in 2004.

The Cassgram reports there was a drop in the number of criminal cases last year. There were 54 in 2009. Criminal cases totaled 76 in 2008, 83 in ’07, 109 in '06, 144 in '05 and 144 in ’04.

A large portion of the drop in criminal cases in the last few years can be attributed to fewer methamphetamine cases in district court. Law enforcement investigates many meth cases now with the intent to acquire enough evidence for federal charges to be filed. Federal meth convictions carry tougher sentences than state sentences. New state laws a few years ago on limiting ephedrine sales also brought down the number of meth cases, attorneys say.

The number of civil cases filed in 2009 totaled 124. That compares to 107 in 2008, 138 in 2007, 126 in 2006 and 89 in 2005.

The 320 filings in the domestic category such as divorces, restraining orders, child support, etc. was down over last year and generally down from previous years also.

105 filings in 2009 were not counted as actual case filings. Those would include requests for transcripts of judgments from other jurisdictions, search warrant requests, etc.

-The first quarter of 2010 is on track with 2009. There were 153 cases filed: 8 criminal, 29 civil, 87 domestic and 29 classified as non-countable.

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