|(22 Dec 2020)
Civil filings in federal court declined in October 2020. New filings had continued to grow during the first part of calendar year 2020 reaching a peak of nearly 60,000 in June, even as federal criminal prosecutions amid the pandemic declined.
But beginning in August and continuing through the end of October, the number of new civil filings has fallen to around 30,000, their lowest point since the beginning of the year.
The earlier growth in overall civil filings, as TRAC previously reported, was due entirely to new lawsuits brought by veterans against 3M based on allegedly defective earplugs. These types of suits have now fallen in recent months. In October 2020, the number of these types of lawsuits totaled 9,989. This decline reduced the number of all types of new civil filings down to 29,964 in October.
Not all areas have experienced recent declines. Lawsuits involving social security reached a record high during FY 2020—a total of more than 21,000 for the year. And in October 2020, federal courts received nearly 2,500 new social security filings, part of a steady increase in these types of suits since June when the number of cases each month began increasing from around 1,500.
During October, the Western District of New York received the most social security suits with 250 new filings. The Central District of California was next with 141 new cases. The rest of the lawsuits were distributed across the United States with no individual court receiving more than 100.
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