Case statistics for calendar year 2004 show a slight decrease (5%) in overall filings from 16,159 cases in 2003 to 15,411 in 2004. By chapter, the split is approximately 43% chapter 7, 57% chapter 13. In addition, there were 54 chapter 11 cases filed in 2004 compared to 55 in 2003. By division, the split in total filings is approximately 55% Columbia, 25% Spartanburg and 20% Charleston. The number of adversary proceedings dropped from 516 to 418.
The total weighted case statistics (the measurement of work for a judge used by the Administrative Office) indicates that South Carolina still has the 4 th highest workload per judge of the 90 districts nationwide. We handle approximately 5600 weighted case hours. The Administrative Office presently uses the measure of 1500 weighted case hours for a court to qualify for a judgeship. Therefore, our district is close to qualifying for four (4) judge positions. Despite the workload, our Court ranks in the top one or two courts in the Circuit with respect to speed of administering cases.
Finally, it appears that CM/ECF is working well to reduce paperwork and delay. CM/ECF guidelines were revised recently and we are in the midst of a major revision of the local rules with the primary purpose being to update, reduce, and simplify them.
Even in these times of heavy workload and tightening budget we at the Court continue to strive to maintain the fine record this Court has always enjoyed. We appreciate the cooperative efforts of the bar, trustees and United States Trustee’s office to that end.