Judiciary at Risk of Closure Due to Shutdown

A prolonged partial government shutdown could impact more than executive branch functions.  The federal judiciary is nearly a week away from shutting down, an unprecedented incident that could spell trouble for legal cases across the country.

The federal judiciary announced on January 7 that without congressional appropriations, the courts would be using fee balances and other non-appropriated funds to maintain operations until January 18. This is longer than the originally predicted January 11, but still presents challenges to the functioning of the judiciary.

As explained in the announcement, “In an effort to achieve this goal, courts have been asked to delay or defer non-mission critical expenses, such as new hires, non-case related travel, and certain contracts. Judiciary employees are reporting to work and currently are in full-pay status.”

Courts around the country have already taken steps to combat the lack of funds such as suspending or postponing all civil cases and shutting down certain civil functions.

The federal judiciary has encouraged courts to work with their district’s U.S. Attorney, U.S. Marshal, and Federal Protective Service staff to maintain court operations, but the courts lack a uniform system for handling this situation.

The New York Times reported, “Federal judges across the country have issued a hodgepodge of conflicting orders. In the Federal District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, a federal judge ordered that all cases in which the federal government is a party be delayed. Another judge issued an order exempting his own cases from the first judge’s order. The second judge, Joseph R. Goodwin, wrote: ‘It is my view that the government should not be given special influence or accommodation in cases where such special considerations are unavailable to other litigants.’ Justice Department lawyers whose civil cases are not granted delays can keep working to meet court deadlines and requirements for filings and appearances.”

Criminal cases are expected to continue as scheduled. During previous government shutdowns the Supreme Court has remained open. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear 11 cases this month.

Posted in Featured News

Print

This Week on FEDtalk

Long Term Planning and Supplemental Insurance Options for Feds

Weighing the pros and cons of various insurance options can be difficult.  Tune into FEDtalk this Friday for a clear explanation of the long term planning and supplemental insurance options available to federal employees.

Read more ...

Hear it from FLEOA

FLEOA Highlights Important Policy, People During Police Week

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) is continually committed to serving our members and the federal law enforcement community. This Police Week, FLEOA has dedicated special time and attention to pushing policy that helps the law enforcement community protect and serve their community. From events highlighting the importance of police to meetings on the Hill, FLEOA is excited to engage the public and policy makers on law enforcement issues during this time of heightened awareness.

Read more ...
FEDagent

FEDagent.com

The free weekly e-report for Federal Law Enforcement

Get in touch with us

Email FEDagent publisher

Copyright 2019 FEDagent.com
Hosted by Peak Media Company, LLC