Source: Federal Judicial Center, 2017
The FJC, under a working arrangement with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC), provides through this site public access to its Integrated Data Base (IDB). The IDB contains data on civil case and criminal defendant filings and terminations in the district courts, along with bankruptcy court and appellate court case information. The FJC receives regular updates of the case-related data that are routinely reported by the courts to the AOUSC. The FJC then post-processes the data, consistent with the policies of the Judicial Conference of the United States governing access to these data, into a unified longitudinal database, the IDB.
As part of this effort and in further cooperation with the Judiciary Data and Analysis Office of the AOUSC, the FJC has created and maintains code books that detail changes in the case data that have occurred since the creation of the IDB, including details about new data fields that may have been added, often due to new legislation expanding the jurisdiction of the federal courts, or data elements that have been deleted and no longer routinely reported by the courts to the AOUSC.
Up to 1992, the reporting period, or statistical year, went from July through June (e.g. statistical year 1990 covered the period July 1, 1989 through June 30, 1990). In 1992, the statistical reporting period was changed to conform to the federal government’s standard fiscal year, October through September (e.g. fiscal year 1993 covered the period October 1, 1992 through September 30, 1993). All of the previous data files in the IDB conform to the old statistical year (SY70-SY91). The 1992 files cover a 15-month time span (July 1, 1991 through September 30, 1992) to accommodate this conversion period. The 1993 file and all subsequent files conform to the new fiscal year (October 1 through September 30).
Detailed information about the datasets can be found in their associated codebooks.