Case clearance is the total number of cases disposed as a percent of the total
number filed. For example, if during the time period being measured, 100 cases
were filed and 98 were disposed, the case clearance measure is 98% (98/100).
The Case Clearance measure relates to the court's expeditious and timely processing
of cases. A number below 100% indicates that over the relevant time period more
cases were filed than were disposed. This could signal that the court may be
accumulating a backlog.
It is the goal of the N.C. Judicial Branch to dispose of as many cases as are filed
in a given year. Therefore, the goal for this measure is 100% for any 12-month period.
That goal will often not be possible during a shorter period, such as a given month,
if an unusually large number of cases are filed. Also, there are substantial
seasonal variations in parts of the state; for example, the beach counties experience
increases in traffic cases during the summer tourist months. However, over time,
it is the goal to dispose of as many cases as are filed. After implementing
administrative and other improvements in case processing consistent with the full
and fair administration of justice (so that litigants are afforded their full and
fair day in court), a number consistently below 100% indicates a need for more court resources.
The clearance measure can be over 100%, indicating that more cases were disposed
than were filed. For example, in a given month, there could be 50 cases pending
at the beginning of the month, and 100 cases filed during the month. If the court
disposed of 110 cases during the month, this measure will be 110% (110 disposed
is 110% of the 100 cases that were filed). A number above 100% indicates that the
court made progress on a backlog.