Monday, October 14, 2013

San Diego Federal Court To Stay Open Until Oct. 17; BK Court Under 'Normal Operations'

The Administrative Office of the Courts in Washington announced that the federal court system has funds to operate through October 17, two days after its first initial estimate of how much money it had to run the system, in light of the current and continuing federal government shutdown over a Congressional budget impasse.

The courts across the country have been feeling the pain and have juggled personnel and case loads to continue operations. This juggling doesn't only include courts and staff but also justice department personnel. In Los Angeles, for example, Associated Press reports that "51 federal prosecutors and nearly 50 staff working civil cases have been sent home, leaving the Justice Department to file stay requests as deadlines approach. Some requests have been granted, others denied, U.S. Attorney Andrew Birotte Jr. said."

Don't start jamming your Congressman's phone lines if you see the court closed today. It's a holiday - Columbus Day. All state and federal courts and offices are closed today. (And it's likely your Congressman won't answer the phone today as well for the same reason.)

Southern District Bankruptcy Court Chief Judge Laura S. Taylor made an announcement on the Court's Web site on October 11 about the shutdown:
Chief Bankruptcy Judge Laura S. Taylor has ordered all employees to continue to work according to normal schedules during any funding lapse having determined that all judges and their chambers staffs, the Clerk, as well employees of the Clerk’s Office, perform functions that are necessary and essential to the continued resolution of cases.

Therefore, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California will continue normal operations for the duration of the current federal government shutdown. See General Order 182 for details.
In her General Order 182, Judge Taylor highlighted this sobering fact:
This Court absorbed a 37% reduction of staffing resources over the past fiscal year; this underscores the need for all remaining staff to be present to fulfill the Court's case related responsibilities.

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