What are we measuring?
The case clearance rate measures how well the court is keeping up with its incoming case load. A clearance rate of 100% represents a court that is disposing of the same number of cases it is receiving. A clearance rate above 100% represents a court that is disposing of more cases than it is receiving. A clearance rate below 100% represents a court that is disposing of fewer cases than it is receiving. This measure includes only misdememanor cases, which are handled by the Fulton County State Court.
Why is it important?
If cases are not disposed as quickly as cases are being filed or reopened, a backlog of cases awaiting disposition will grow. Clearance rates naturally fluctuate above and below 100 percent, but clearance rates that are consistently under 100 percent can lead to backlogs. Once a backlog grows to a certain size, it may be difficult to eliminate without bringing in additional resources such as temporary employees.
How are we doing?
The 2017 clearance rate for State Court was only about 80 percent due at least in part to a large number of filings by the Solictor General in an attempt to eliminate a backlog. The clearance rate rebounded in 2018, averaging well over 100 percent for the year.