Emergency Preparedness and Continuity of Operations (COOP) Planning in the Federal Judiciary [Updated September 8, 2005] [open pdf - 63KB]
From the Document: "Following the current disruption of operations in several courts in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi due to Hurricane Katrina, the September 2001 terrorist attacks, subsequent anthrax incidents that briefly affected the Supreme Court, and occasional warnings of potential natural and man-made incursions that could interrupt court operations, judicial branch policymakers and administrators have given renewed attention to crisis response, emergency planning, and continuity of operations (COOP) issues. In the federal judiciary, COOP planning is an extension of court emergency preparedness plans designed to safeguard lives and property during emergencies. The federal judiciary is highly decentralized, both geographically and administratively. Consequently, emergency and COOP planning is carried out locally, according to guidelines issued by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC). Each federal court, aside from the Supreme Court, which has dedicated facilities and security procedures that are not considered in this report, is responsible for planning for its continued operation in the event of a disaster or other potential operational interruption...This report discusses actions taken by AOUSC following the September 11 attacks, and describes expectations for emergency preparedness and COOP plans in the judiciary. Other sections address issues and policy questions Congress might consider, including matters of the status of judicial emergency and COOP preparedness, and funding for future policy and oversight questions regarding judicial contingency planning."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31978