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May 2005

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This article is in the news archives --- for current news go to the Third Branch News.


Bankruptcy Judgeships Created to Reduce Burdens

The first new bankruptcy judgeships since 1992 are included in P.L. 109-8, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. In noting the many reasons why passage of this legislation was important, Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner included the “additional bankruptcy judges that will reduce unnecessary burdens upon the current system by those who must administer and use it.”

The Judicial Conference had requested 30 permanent and 17 temporary new bankruptcy judgeships; the new law creates 28 temporary bankruptcy judgeships in 20 districts and extends four others. Five of the new bankruptcy judgeships were not requested by the Conference and Congress did not appropriate money for the new judges’ staff. For a complete list of the Conference’s bankruptcy judgeship recommendations, visit www.uscourts.gov/bankruptcycourts/judgeships.html.

In each of the bankruptcy courts where a single judgeship was created by the new act, the first bankruptcy judgeship vacancy occurring 5 years or more after the appointment date of a P.L. 109-8 bankruptcy judge shall not be filled. In districts receiving two or more new judgeships, the vacancies occurring five years or more after the appointment dates of each bankruptcy judge, shall not be filled.

In addition, temporary bankruptcy judgeships authorized in 1992, and due to lapse in the Northern District of Alabama, the District of Delaware, the District of Puerto Rico, and the Eastern District of Tennessee are extended until the first bankruptcy judge vacancy occurring in the district five years after the enactment of P.L. 109-8. Bankruptcy judges are appointed to serve terms of 14 years.

Bankruptcy Court New Bankruptcy Judgeships

Eastern District of California

Central District of California 3
District of Delaware 4
Southern District of Florida 2
Southern District of Georgia 1
District of Maryland 3
Eastern District of Michigan 1
Southern District of Mississippi 1
District of New Jersey 1
Eastern District of New York 1
Northern District of New York 1
Southern District of New York 1
Eastern District of North Carolina 1
Eastern District of Pennsylvania 1
Middle District of Pennsylvania 1
District of Puerto Rico 1
Western District of Tennessee 1
Eastern District of Virginia 1
District of South Carolina 1
District of Nevada 1