Legislation & Lobbying
Judicial Conference Asks Congress for 13 More Bankruptcy Judges
Posted Jun 16, 2009 3:43 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Deluged with new bankruptcy filings, the federal courts need more judges to keep the docket moving, a federal courts official told a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee today.
"Our judicial resources are strained. And the cost to society of an overburdened bankruptcy system, especially in this economic climate, is enormous," U.S. District Judge Judge Barbara Lynn of the Northern District of Texas told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law. She chairs the Judicial Conference of the United States Committee on the Administration of the Bankruptcy System.
Her comments are reported in a press release from the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts.
The judicial conference is seeking to add 13 additional permanent bankruptcy judges in 10 judicial districts, as well as convert 22 temporary bankruptcy judgeships that already exist in 15 judicial districts to permanent positions. It also hopes to extend two existing temporary bankruptcy judge jobs for another five years.
There are currently 324 bankruptcy judgships nationwide, reports Reuters.
Lynn told the subcommittee there were 38 percent more bankruptcy filings in 2007 than the previous fiscal year, and said filings increased by another 31 percent between 2007 and 2008, the news agency recounts
"In the 12-month period ending March 31, 2009, there were approximately 1.2 million bankruptcy petitions filed—nearly double the number of petitions filed in 2006," Lynn said in prepared testimony.