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In The Face Of Government Shutdown, Some Federal Courts Cut Back On Cases

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The partial government shutdown is affecting federal courts differently across the region.

When the shutdown began the federal courts had enough court fees to keep working through Friday. But over the past three weeks, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has been asking the country’s 94 district courts to tighten belts and send back any money they could.  

Some courts are putting off nonessential travel, canceling drug and reentry programs, and having to decide if a broken computer server qualifies as “mission critical.”

So far, the courts have found enough money to extend operations for two more weeks.

The chief judge in New York’s Southern District has issued a stay on civil cases, including several in which President Trump is a defendant.

New York’s Eastern District and Connecticut district courts issued no such stay. However, U.S. attorneys are writing to individual judges asking to postpone cases. According to a spokesperson, some judges are agreeing and some are not.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.