Last fiscal year, the Sixth Circuit terminated 2,638 appeals on the merits, ranking its caseload fifth among the federal circuits by this metric. Not surprisingly, this correlates with the Circuit’s average case resolution time of 9.8 months from the filing of notice of appeal to final order or disposition, which makes it the fourth-longest resolution time among the circuits, but only slightly above the median of 9.2 months. However, this follows the Sixth Circuit’s downward trend in case resolution time that we reported on last year: the Circuit’s average time interval for disposition of an appeal in FY 2014 fell by almost a full month as compared with FY 2013. By comparison, the fastest court by this metric was the First Circuit, which also terminated the second fewest cases on the merits—725. (Interestingly, the D.C. Circuit terminated the fewest cases on the merits—376—but took the longest time to do so—a median time interval of 12.8 months.)
Also of note, the Sixth Circuit ranks ninth among the circuits in terms of median time interval to resolve a prisoner petition (7.5 months), and eighth in terms of general criminal appeals (11.8 months). The Second and Fourth Circuits were fastest in these areas, at 4.2 months and 7.9 months, respectively. In addition, the Sixth Circuit is tied with the First Circuit for eighth place in its resolution of Administrative Agency appeals (1.3 months). However, this year the Sixth Circuit ranks right in the middle—sixth—for time interval to resolve a civil appeal, at 10.2 months (fastest is the Fourth Circuit at an even 6 months). The Sixth Circuit also holds the same rank—sixth—for termination of bankruptcy cases (timing out at an even 11 months).