Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Court News On Government Shutdown as of January 8, 2019

News fron the Court's website.

During the partial shutdown of the federal government, which began Dec. 22, 2018, the Judiciary has continued to operate by using court fee balances and other “no-year” funds. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has revised its original estimate and now is working toward the goal of sustaining paid operations through Jan. 18, 2019.

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.

If existing funds run out and new appropriated funds do not become available, the Judiciary will operate under the terms of the Anti-Deficiency Act, which allows “essential work” to continue during a lapse in appropriations

Friday, January 4, 2019

Government Shutdown: How is the Bankruptcy Court Effected by the Shutdown?


The most prominent item on the top of the news each night is the continued government shutdown. As of the writing of this post, it has been shut down for several hours short of 14 days. 

While this has directly effected many federally funded areas of our country, there are others that are not as immediately impacted, at least, from a public or user perspective.

The Federal Courthouses remain open and doing business, but probably with some impact on internal procedures that will cause some delays. Many, but not all, bankruptcy courthouse websites have a statement regarding the government shutdown. I practice in Florida. The Middle District of Florida and the Northern District of Florida state

“Despite the government shutdown, the federal judiciary will remain open and can continue operations for approximately three weeks, through January 11, 2019.”

However, the Southern District of Florida's website is silent regarding information related to the shutdown.

In the Middle District of Florida, there is also an administrative order (FLMB 2018-4) stating Federal agencies effected by the government shutdown will have have 7 days following the end of the shutdown “to take record action”.  So the court recognizes other Federal Agencies may not have the staff in place to properly give legal responses, or file necessary papers related to individual bankruptcy cases.

Should the government shutdown continue through January 11, 2019, you should look to your court's website to see what effects the shutdown will have on the Court in your district.

Of course, should you have any questions about this, or any other bankruptcy related questions, you should contact a local bankruptcy attorney for advice.