Because of population growth and the unanticipated litigiousness of the District's citizens, the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia was able to handle only half of its cases by 1820. More than a thousand lawsuits were awaiting trial. Congress dealt with this by increasing the jurisdictional amount from $20 to $50. As a result, in just two years the business of the Circuit Court fell from 1300 civil actions to 150.

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