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How to Suggest a Change to Federal Court Rules and Forms

The Judiciary invites the public to participate in refining the Rules of Practice and Procedure, Rules of Evidence, and court forms. Submitting a suggestion to one of the advisory committees triggers this cooperative process. Suggestions come from many sources, including judges, practicing attorneys, government agencies, academia, and bar associations.

Suggestions and recommendations on the rules are submitted to the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure (the Standing Committee) c/o the Rules Committee Staff in Washington D.C. The Rules Committee Staff will assign an agenda number, acknowledge the suggestion, and forward it to the appropriate advisory committee for consideration. The advisory committee’s reporter normally analyzes the suggestion and makes appropriate recommendations. If the advisory committee decides to pursue the idea, it may seek empirical research assistance from the Federal Judicial Center.

When an advisory committee decides that a particular proposal has merit, it will forward a draft amendment and an explanatory committee note to the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee reviews the draft and then, if worthy of publication, broadly circulates the preliminary draft with a call for public comment. The Standing Committee also schedules hearings on the proposed changes to coincide with the public comment period.

Submitted suggestions are generally available for public review on the Rules Suggestions page.

Resources

Guidelines for Drafting and Editing Court Rules
Examples of Rules Suggestions

Suggest a Change to the Rules

By Email: RulesCommittee_Secretary@ao.uscourts.gov

By Mail:

Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure 
c/o Rules Committee Staff
Administrative Office of the United States Courts
One Columbus Circle, NE 
Washington, D.C. 20544