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Pending Rules and Forms Amendments

Any change to the federal rules must be designed to promote simplicity in procedure, fairness in administration, the just determination of litigation, and the elimination of unjustifiable expense and delay.

An amendment to a federal rule generally takes about three years.  As described in more detail at Overview for the Bench, Bar and Public, a proposed rule change is usually considered by an advisory committee and published for comment as part of a document called a Preliminary Draft during the first year of the process, considered by the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure (the “Standing Committee”) and the Judicial Conference in the second year, and by the Supreme Court and Congress in the third year.

Below are the proposed amendments organized by the year they are projected to go into effect with links to the relevant Congressional, Supreme Court, Judicial Conference, Standing Committee, and Preliminary Draft, as such materials become available.1

December 1, 2019

  • Appellate Rules 3, 5, 13, 21, 25, 26, 26.1, 28, 32, and 39.
  • Bankruptcy Rules 4001, 6007, 9036, and 9037.
  • Criminal Rule 16.1 and proposed amendments to Rule 5 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts and Rule 5 of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings for the United States District Courts.
  • Evidence Rule 807.

Congressional Package - April 2019

Supreme Court Package – October 2018.

Standing Committee Report to the Judicial Conference – September 2018.

Preliminary Draft of Proposed Amendments to the Federal Rules - August 2017

December 1, 2020

  • Appellate Rules 35 and 40.
  • Bankruptcy Rules 2002, 2004, and 8012.
  • Civil Rule 30.
  • Evidence Rule 404.

Preliminary Draft of Proposed Amendments to the Federal Rules –  August 2018.  The comment period ran from August 15, 2018 through February 15, 2019.


1 Although the rules listed are projected to go into effect on the dates listed, they can be delayed for various reasons or withdrawn entirely.  Rule and form changes being considered by advisory committees can be found in their most recent agenda books or reports.