Statement of Chief Judge Jon D. Levy Regarding the Government Shutdown

Statement of Chief Judge Jon D. Levy Regarding the Government Shutdown

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January 24, 2019

 

            The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has announced that the Federal Judiciary has enough funds to sustain paid operations through either Thursday, January 31st or Friday, February 1st.  If Congress does not appropriate funding for the Judiciary before the existing funds run out, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine will begin operating without funding on Monday, February 4th at the latest.

            Should a complete lapse in funds occur, Maine’s two federal courthouses in Portland and Bangor will remain open and operating, but will do so with a reduced staff of employees who will not be receiving paychecks.  The Court is preparing a plan that will identify the activities that are permitted under the Anti-Deficiency Act during a lapse in funding.  The plan will be used by court administrators to make decisions about staffing levels and furloughs.  We expect to issue the plan, and to inform our employees of required furloughs, on Wednesday, January 30th.   

            We will strive to maintain the full range of court dockets and services if a lapse in funds takes hold.   The status of our operations will be reviewed every week, and adjustments to our staffing and scope of operations will be made as needed.  Weekly updates regarding any significant changes to the District Court’s operations will be announced on our website (https://www.med.uscourts.gov/) every Thursday at 1 p.m.  

The administrative units of the District of Maine consist of the Federal Defender, the U.S. District Court, U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maine.  The Bankruptcy Court will issue and implement its own plan should a lapse in funding occur.   Additional information regarding the status of the Bankruptcy Court’s operations is available at its website (http://www.meb.uscourts.gov/).

The U.S. District Court for the District of Maine was established in 1789 as one of the thirteen original federal district courts.  The current judges include three active District Judges, three senior District Judges, two Magistrate Judges, and two Bankruptcy Judges.  The Judges and the entire court staff are committed to continuing to carry out the Judiciary’s constitutional responsibility to administer justice and uphold the rule of law.

 

Inquiries should be directed to Christa K. Berry, Clerk of Court, at 207-780-3356 or Christa_Berry@med.uscourts.gov.