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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Jan. 24, 201910:45 AM EST

Federal court operations deadline extended to Jan. 31

Expenses deferred during partial government shutdown.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts says it can sustain funded operations until Jan. 31.

The judiciary previously said it would run out of money Friday because of the partial government shutdown.

According to a news release from the courts, the extended deadline was achieved by deferring operating costs and using court filing fees and other available balances.

Most of the measures are stopgaps and the courts will face deferred payment obligations after the shutdown ends.

In recent weeks, courts and federal public defender offices have delayed or deferred some expenses, such as new hires, noncase-related travel and certain contracts. Judiciary employees are reporting to work and are in full-pay status.

If funding runs out before Congress enacts a new continuing resolution or full-year funding, the judiciary would operate under the terms of the Anti-Deficiency Act, which permits mission-critical work. That includes activities to support the exercise of the courts’ constitutional powers under Article III, specifically the resolution of cases and related services.

Each court would determine the staff necessary to support its mission-critical work.

The Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system remains in operation for electronic filing of documents, as does PACER, which enables the public to read court documents.

Courts have been encouraged to work with their district’s U.S. Attorney, U.S. Marshal and Federal Protective Service staff to discuss service levels required to maintain court operations. The General Services Administration has begun to reduce operations and courts are working with their local building managers to mitigate the impact on services.

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