Following news of the federal Judiciary’s imminent shutdown earlier this month, the government branch now estimates that it has sufficient funding to stay open through January 25, 2019.
The delayed closure comes as a result of strong efforts to reduce spending and conserve resources so that court operations can function as long as possible, while the rest of the federal government is subject to the shutdown. While non-essential travel and hiring has been deferred, Judiciary employees are reporting to work and being paid.
While the Judiciary remains open, however, the Justice Department has had to stay litigation in cases throughout the country, citing a federal act which precludes federal employees from working during the shutdown. The suspension of civil litigation involving federal agencies will generally not apply to criminal cases or cases involving human life and the protection of property.
The Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) and PACER systems, meanwhile, remain operational, enabling the electronic filing and review of court documents.
According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the Judiciary will continue to cut costs in hopes of staying open beyond January 25, but notes that the existing funds are set to run out soon if new, appropriated funds do not become available.