Friday, November 16, 2007

PA Orphans' Court Statistics Available Online

On November 5, 2007, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) posted "Updates to the 2006 caseloads statistics" for all PA courts, including the Orphans' Court Division. These caseload statistics are compiled annually & updated periodically by AOPC's Department of Policy & Research using data derived from court dockets & court administrators' reports.

The 2006 Caseload Statistics of the United Judicial System of Pennsylvania (updated 11/05/07, PDF, 124 pages) can be reviewed online in its document presentation form. Also, it can be searched selectively.

Using AOPC's "
Interactive Statistics" database query tool, you can "design reports that meet your specific needs" for statistics regarding:

  • Protection from Abuse cases
  • Criminal Division case
  • Civil Division case
  • Orphans' Court Division cases
  • Family Division cases
Regarding the Orphans' Court Division caseload, you can review filings & dispositions in the categories of:
  • Accounts
  • Adoptions
  • Relinquishments & Terminations (of parental rights)
  • Appointment of Guardians
For customized data reports under these categories, you can designate additional screening factors of:
  • County (by judicial district or by class of county)
  • Year (1994-2005)
  • Case status (filed, pending at year beginning, available for disposition, contested before a judge, contested before a non-judicial officer, uncontested, pending at year end, or "other").
You can also calculate totals, averages, or percentage changes in your customized search results.

Using the database query tool, I was able to determine quickly by searches that, in 2005, 74 accounts were filed in Dauphin County, 119 in Philadelphia County, and 774 in Allegheny County.

This is a useful tool to gauge current Orphans' Court activity regarding the reported data.