Nearly 500 criminal cases are pending in Union County Common Pleas Court.

Nearly 500 criminal cases are pending in Union County Common Pleas Court.

Judge Don Fraser said there were 490 cases for June, an increase of 210 active cases, excluding domestic violence, since January.

"We have been running criminal cases through," he said as he presented a report to Union County commissioners June 22.

The cases have steadily risen, according to the numbers provided by Fraser, with the exception of February, when the caseload dropped to 269. The drop proved to be temporary when pending cases shot up to 368 in March, 411 in April, 446 in May and 490 in June.

February proved to have the highest number of cases in 2008 with 299 pending cases, 30 more than were active in February of this year.

Active domestic violence cases are at the highest they have been in the last 16 months.

There were 30 new domestic violence cases added in May, but the highest number of new cases occurred in March when there were 48.

"There have been so many criminal cases it is difficult to keep up," Fraser said.

"With the economy, it is not likely to get better," commissioner Gary Lee said. "As people become more desperate, they do crazy things."