Legislative Initiatives to Temporarily Relocate Federal Courts Interrupted by Natural or Man-made Disasters, 109th Congress [September 8, 2005] [open pdf - 21KB]
From the Document: "Following the current disruption of operations in several courts in Gulf Coast states due to Hurricane Katrina, one of the issues raised is whether Congress might consider legislation authorizing courts affected by natural and man-made disasters to meet outside the geographic boundaries of their circuits or districts. In emergency conditions created due to a natural or man-made disaster, a federal court facility in an adjoining district or circuit might be more readily and safely available to court personnel, litigants, jurors, and the public than a facility within the district. The Judicial Conference of the United States, which makes policy for the federal courts, asked Congress in June 2005 to pass emergency legislation to allow courts to shift court proceedings temporarily into adjacent judicial districts when emergency circumstances require it and again in September following Hurricane Katrina. The proposed legislation is similar to language contained in section 15 of H.R. 1751, the Secure Access to Justice and Court Protection Act of 2005. The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security forwarded H.R. 1751, with amendments to the House Committee on the Judiciary on June 30, 2005. H.R. 3650, which would allow U.S. courts to conduct business during emergency conditions was introduced on September 6, was passed by the House on September 7. This report will be updated as events warrant."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22244