Washington’s local courts will remain open in the event of a government shutdown, with cases proceeding as scheduled, but almost all divisions that don’t serve critical city populations – juveniles and domestic violence victims, especially – will see a significant reduction in staff.
Of the 1,323 full-time staff employed in the D.C. courts system, D.C. Superior Court and D.C. Court of Appeals, 833 will be considered essential, meaning about 40% of court staff will be temporarily out of a job come Monday if Congress fails to pass a budget.
Cases proceeding in the criminal, civil and most other divisions will continue as usual, however. Anyone who received a notice for jury duty will still be expected to show up, but won’t be paid until after the federal budget is passed.
The only proceedings that appear to be placed completely on hold in the event of a shutdown are in the tax division.
A complete list of essential personnel and staffing levels in each division following a shutdown can be found here (PDF).
The location of a swearing-in ceremony for newly-admitted members to the D.C. Bar scheduled for Monday is in flux. The ceremony is typically held at the D.C. Court of Appeals, but the court posted an announcement that if there is a shutdown, the ceremony will be moved to the D.C. Bar’s headquarters. However, D.C. Bar spokeswoman Cynthia Kuhn said this afternoon that there was some uncertainty as to where it would be held Monday if there’s a shutdown. She said a final announcement will be posted on the D.C. Bar’s Web site after tonight.