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Public Input Received on Possible Emergency Procedures

The Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure and its five advisory committees have posted public input that was received, regarding possible rule amendments that could ameliorate future national emergencies’ effects on court operations.

The Judicial Conference’s Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure solicited public input as part of its response to Congress’ directive that the Judicial Conference and the Supreme Court consider potential amendments to address future national emergencies. [Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020, Pub. L. No. 116-136, § 15002(b)(6)].

Input was sought on challenges encountered during the COVID pandemic in state and federal courts, by lawyers, judges, parties, or the public, and on solutions developed to deal with those challenges. The committees were particularly interested in hearing about situations that could not be addressed through the existing rules or in which the rules themselves interfered with practical solutions. 

The deadline for submitting comments was June 1. Based on comments from the bench, bar, and general public, the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure and its advisory committees on appellate, bankruptcy, civil, criminal, and evidence rules will engage in a careful process to determine whether amendments are needed. 

If so, any amendments will be transmitted to the Judicial Conference for potential adoption by the Supreme Court and Congress according to the process outlined in the Rules Enabling Act.

Read the chart listing the individual comments received by subject matter (pdf).

Find the corresponding comments by category:

Related Topics: Federal Rules