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:
- Any vacancy in a district court where weighted filings(1)
are in excess of 600 per judgeship; OR any vacancy in existence
more than 18 months where weighted filings are between 430 to 600 per judgeship;
- Any vacancy in a court of appeals where adjusted filings(2)
per panel are in excess of 700; OR any vacancy in existence
more than 18 months where adjusted filings are between 500 to 700 per panel.
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
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).