Roughly 50 federal courts were closed in some capacity Friday to observe Juneteenth National Independence Day, a newly minted federal holiday.
June 19 commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. President Joe Biden signed legislation on Thursday enacting the federal holiday, prompting courts to scramble to put out their plans.
Due to the decentralized nature of the judiciary, individual courts make their own decisions about operations. “In addition, courts are always open for emergency matters,” David Sellers, a spokesman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, said.
The following is a list of the operations status of federal courts for Friday, June 18:
The majority of the federal circuit courts announced they would close. Those courts were:
- The Federal Circuit,
- D.C. Circuit,
- First Circuit,
- Second Circuit,
- Fifth Circuit,
- Seventh Circuit,
- Ninth Circuit,
- Tenth Circuit, and
- Eleventh Circuit.
A few of those courts, including the Ninth and Federal Circuit, noted filing deadlines would be moved to Monday.
The district courts that announced they would close were:
- The Eastern District of Virginia,
- District of New Jersey,
- District of Arizona,
- Northern District of California,
- District of New Hampshire,
- Eastern District of Tennessee,
- Middle District of Pennsylvania,
- Northern District of West Virginia,
- Middle District of Florida,
- Western District of Missouri,
- District of D.C.,
- Eastern District of Oklahoma,
- District of Idaho,
- Western District of Arkansas,
- Eastern District of California,
- Northern District of Mississippi,
- District of South Carolina,
- Western District of Wisconsin,
- Southern District of Illinois,
- District of Delaware,
- Eastern District of New York,
- District of the Virgin Islands,
- Western District of Washington,
- Northern District of New York,
- Western District of Tennessee,
- Southern District of Iowa,
- Central District of California,
- Western District of Oklahoma,
- District of Nebraska,
- Northern District of Iowa, and
- District of Alaska.
In the Southern District of Texas and Northern District of Georgia, closures varied by courthouse.
The Eastern District of Arkansas said it would be open to public only for limited essential business. And the Southern District of New York said it was observing Juneteenth as a holiday, but urged people to check with chambers to see if they still needed to report for previously scheduled case events.
Clerk’s Office Closed
Some courts announced only their clerk’s office would close. Those courts were:
- The Fourth Circuit,
- Sixth Circuit,
- District of Vermont,
- Northern District of Indiana,
- Western District of Virginia,
- District of Oregon, and
- District of Hawaii.
A handful district courts indicated they would remain open. Those courts were:
- The Western District of Michigan,
- Western District of New York,
- District of Colorado,
- District of Kansas, and
- Middle District of Tennessee.
The Southern District of California didn’t indicate whether they would close, but said employees would get additional leave time and could ask for the day off from supervisors.
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