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Bankruptcy court staff cuts starting to impact customers

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The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana cut an additional eight positions from its clerk’s office at the end of September, according to an update posted online from Chief Judge James Coachys. The court had already cut six positions in the beginning of the year.

The clerk’s office is the smallest it has been since the mid-1980s with 50 people on staff, Coachys reports. Courtroom services and case management have been hit the hardest because of the cuts. Employees in those areas sometimes are not able to process orders or take other actions as quickly as in the past. The Terre Haute office continues to operate at reduced hours.

The chief judge is asking the bar to help the court operate more efficiently, such as by letting the courtroom deputy know by phone when a motion to continue is going to be filed for a hearing that is set in the next 24 hours or to advise the courtroom deputy when an emergency motion has been filed.

“We now know our funding for the first few months of FY2014. While the Judiciary as a whole gets at least as much funding as it did for the equivalent period post-sequestration in FY2013, we will receive locally less than we were allotted for the same time period – because the Judiciary’s fixed costs have increased and because our filings have declined and our staff has shrunk more than other courts,” Coachys writes. “However, we believe that the staff cuts made to date will be sufficient to avoid further elimination of positions in FY2014 – if funding for the entire fiscal year is consistent with what we’ve been given through early January. Staff has been advised that furlough days unrelated to a government shutdown remain a possibility.”

Bankruptcy filings are down 6 percent in the Southern District, according to new data released Thursday by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. In 2013 Fiscal Year ending Sept. 30, 20,588 filings were made as compared to 21,909 filed during the same time in 2012. Filings are also down 4.5 percent in the Northern District of Indiana and overall are down 12 percent across federal courts.
 

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  1. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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