Revised Definition for Judicial Emergencies


At its March 1999 session, the Judicial Conference of the United States revised the definition of "judicial emergency" to better reflect the needs of the courts. The revised definition is as follows:

Weighted and adjusted filings in the vacancy report are based

View the Judicial Emergency List


1. In determining judgeship needs in the U.S. district courts, the Judicial Conference uses weighted filings as a means of accounting for differences in the time required for judges to resolve various types of civil and criminal actions. Rather than counting each case as a single case, weights are applied based on the nature of cases. For example, cases involving a defaulted student loan are counted as 0.031 for each case and patent cases are counted as 1.9 cases. The criminal weights are applied on a per-defendant basis. The total for "weighted filings per judgeship" is the sum of all weights assigned to civil cases and criminal defendants, divided by the number of authorized judgeships.

2. In the courts of appeals adjusted filings are used in a similar manner to weighted filings in the district courts. Adjusted filings eliminate reinstated cases and weight pro se appeals as one-third of a case. All other cases have a weight of one. The total for "adjusted filings per panel" is adjusted filings divided by the number of authorized three-judge panels (authorized judgeships/3).