A disposition date in court is the date a case is actually closed. Both civil and criminal court cases have disposition dates although courts use different terminology. Some courts use terms like “closed,” “resolved” or “judgment” instead of disposition date.
A civil case is when an individual or company, known as the plaintiff, submits a dispute between the parties to a court for resolution. A civil court disposition date is the date when the case is closed. This is important since the time to file an appeal is a certain number of days starting from the disposition date.
If the disposition date is not known, a party to the court case wishing to take an appeal does not know when the appeal period ends. The same is true in criminal cases. Each state court system and the federal court system have different time constraints in which appeals may be filed after the disposition date. In civil cases, the disposition date may also be crucial for business or tax reasons or simply for peace of mind knowing the case is over.
Disposition dates in court cases can indicate how efficiently a court is operating. Each state and federal court has court administrators tracking how quickly cases are resolved. The court administrator tracks these cases by looking at the time difference between when the case is initiated and the disposition date, or closing, of the case. A disposition date is reflected on a court’s written order or judgment.