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Weighted Caseload Studies


February 2024

Authors: Erin Brown and David Melendez

Legislative Brief

State law requires the Comptroller of the Treasury to maintain and update a weighted caseload study for the state trial court judges, district attorneys (DAs), and public defenders (PDs).

Weighted caseload studies account for the amount of time and resources needed to process the different types of cases in a caseload. A weighted caseload study adds more weight to cases that take more time and resources. The weights for each type of case are then multiplied by the number of cases to produce an estimate of resources needed.

The Comptroller's Office has not updated the weighted caseload study for state trial court judges since fiscal year 2019 because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting changes to court operations, and outdated case weights. In lieu of updating the judicial weighted caseload study, the Comptroller's Office has conducted related research projects since then.

The weighted caseload study for district attorneys and public defenders has not been updated since 2006, as described in regular memos issued by the Comptroller’s Office.

This February 2024 report considers the past and future of weighted caseload studies in Tennessee. An analysis of trends in case filings between 2016 and 2022 is also included.

Reports, briefs, maps, and memos from prior years can be found below.