Thursday, March 15, 2012

‘Financial Crisis’ May Require Federal Courts to Suspend Some Trials

Federal trials may have to be suspended if severe budget cuts that Congress has currently scheduled for January actually take effect.

"The judiciary is on the cusp of a financial crisis of significant proportions, one that I believe we can assuage somewhat if we are willing to take bold and unprecedented action," Judge Julia Gibbons, who chairs the budget committee, told the Judicial Conference of the United States. The group, which serves as the policy-making body of the federal courts, reported this and other developments in a news release today .

Among the measures that are being considered to meet the court's budget are reductions in staffing levels and elimination of some probation and pretrial services that could be considered duplicative, according to the release.

A Reuters article reports that court officials say they are also considering staff furloughs and putting some trials on hold to deal with budgetary constraints. Source