Court Operations During the Government Shutdown
Message from William B. Porter, FBA-NOVA PRESIDENT
By now, many of you have seen the standing order entered today by the Chief United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, In the Matter of: The Continued Operation of the United States District Court During a Lapse in Appropriations.
While FBA-NOVA does not purport to speak for the Court, in the interest of keeping our members informed and after some consultation with the Court, the following is our best understanding of the import of the today's standing order:
Beginning either January 31 or February 1 (i.e., once judiciary funds are exhausted), and ending when a continuing resolution or appropriation is passed, certain courthouse employees will report to work in non-pay status to perform only those tasks related to "excepted" (or "essential") work. This includes the resolution of cases, in exercise of the Court's Article III judicial power.
Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, both civil and criminal cases should largely be unaffected.
Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, all conferences, hearings, and trials will continue as scheduled.
The Court will continue to accept new cases.
Any continuance requests or other motions necessitated by phase-down activities in the executive branch will be addressed by the assigned judge on a case-by-case basis.
Non-essential administrative tasks, as well as hiring, purchasing supplies, travel, and training, will be suspended.
Rolling furloughs will take place throughout the courthouse, which will limit the number of court staff but will allow the court to operate without adversely impacting litigation.
As always, please check the Court’s website for the most up-to-date information.
See also National Federal Bar Association’s Statement on the Partial Government Shutdown and Its Impact on the Federal Courts, issued January 23, 2019.