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Judges' Corner Archive

Fri, 9/27/2013 - 5:00 am

Many attorneys practicing before the Bankruptcy Court have expressed concern over the uncertainty that exists with regard to a possible government shut-down and the impact it will have on you and your clients, debtor and creditor alike. While we are no better positioned to predict the outcome of votes in Congress to fund the government, the Court does want to share both what we do know and our plans. Congress has not yet passed a budget or a continuing resolution (CR) for fiscal year 2014 (which begins October 1).  If Congress fails to enact a CR by October 1, 2013 most federal agencies will have to shut down - save for essential operations. The Judiciary, however, will continue to operate for an estimated 10 business days (through approximately October 15, 2013) using available funds.  There are certain limitations to these operations; but parties and litigants will notice little change.

After the 10-day period, if there is still no budget or CR, the Bankruptcy Court will operate under the Anti-Deficiency Act, which allows "essential work" to continue despite the lapse in appropriations. The clerk and judges are developing a plan should this become reality. In the event of a lapse in funds beyond October 15 the court will implement a plan to continue the “exercise of the judicial power of the United States” and dispose of matters that “preserve life or property.” The plan will provide for the staffing necessary to perform essential functions, including accepting new cases and proceedings for filing and hearing cases and controversies where essential to protect property.

The United States trustee will separately issue a statement concerning meetings of creditors and other functions of that office at the appropriate time. If asked, the Court will assist the United States trustee in disseminating the statement.

David R. Duncan

Chief Judge

Thu, 9/26/2013 - 5:00 am

The Judges have noticed that some parties are not serving documents and notices as required by the Local Rules. The September 1 amendments to the local rules delegated the service of several orders and notices to designated parties. For delegated matters, the Court has begun adding the following docket text:

Notice and service of this event are delegated pursuant to SC LBR 5075-1

In other instances specified under SC LBR 5075-1, but where this language does not yet appear in the docket text, the Court has not yet completed the necessary technical changes to CM/ECF to implement the change to the rule. Attorneys should, in the interim, verify that the Court has made service but are not yet required to serve the delegated matter. As the technical changes are made to each event the noted docket text will be added to highlight the need for service by the delegated party. When an attorney serves a delegated matter, a certificate of service should be promptly filed pursuant to SC LBR 9013-3. A Notice of Electronic Filing may be attached to the certificate of service as proof of service on those parties who receive notice electronically through CM/ECF.