The King County Clerk’s office: By the Numbers
Barb Miner is the Clerk of the Court and shared some data. She helped us wrap our heads around how much business her team of 200+ does.
- Each year, 65,000 cases are filed. That translates into 6000 documents managed and associated with the correct case file EVERY DAY.
- Of the 65,000 case filings, 6000 are criminal felony matters.
- The largest chunk of civil cases are domestic – divorces, separations, and protection orders.
- Of those 65,000 cases filed, only 3 percent go to trial. And of those, criminal cases go to trial 6 percent of the time and civil cases go to trial less than 3 percent of the time.
Cases resolve in any number of ways. Parties come to an agreement on the way to trial or through mediation or early rulings that incentivize parties to settle or sometimes it’s just default which means the other side never responded. For criminal cases, for example, a plea would stop a case before it goes to trial. Barb says all of these options are less expensive than trial.
So, ultimately, what you see on TV rarely happens.