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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Government shutdown hits DOJ, D.C. local courts hardest so far

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Oct 2, 2013

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) -- The federal government is on the second day of its first shutdown in nearly 18 years and hundreds of thousands of federal employees have been furloughed, including more than 1,000 U.S. Department of Justice lawyers.

The National Law Journal reported Tuesday that the DOJ's civil division took the biggest hit.

In an emailed message to DOJ employees Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he hopes Congress will act to resolve the situation quickly.

He called the shutdown "unnecessary" and "harmful."

The agency is seeking to put hundreds, if not thousands, of civil cases on hold because of the shutdown.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court will continue to conduct its normal operations through the end of the week.

"Further notice will be provided in the event a lapse of appropriations continues beyond Oct. 4," according to its website.

The U.S. Judicial Conference said the federal courts will remain open for business for about 10 business days.

"On or around Oct. 15, 2013, the Judiciary will reassess its situation and provide further guidance," according to its website.

"All proceedings and deadlines remain in effect as scheduled, unless otherwise advised. Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) will remain in operation for the electronic filing of documents with courts."

Also as a result of the shutdown, nearly one-third of employees in the District of Columbia's local court system will be furloughed.

The Blog of Legal Times reported that "several hundred" administrative staff members and other employees -- not judges and other employees in its superior court and court of appeals -- would sit at home without pay starting Tuesday.

The District's court system is unlike other local courts in that it is federally funded. However, it isn't a part of the federal judiciary.

This is the first federal government shutdown since 1995-96.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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