Judicial Conference seeks comment on proposed rule amendments

The Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to appellate, bankruptcy and civil rules.

A preliminary draft of the amendments is now available, starting with Appellate Rules 3, 6, 42, and Forms 1 and 2.

Changes in Rule 3(c)(1)(B) propose to “reduce the inadvertent loss of appellate rights caused by the phrasing of a notice of appeal” by making four key changes to the rule. Likewise, a conforming amendment to Rule 6, which governs appeals in bankruptcy cases, would replace the cross-reference to “Form 1” with a cross-reference to “Forms 1A and 1B.”

Proposed amendments to Rule 42(b) would require the circuit clerk to dismiss an appeal if the parties file a signed dismissal agreement specifying how costs are to be paid and pay any court fees that are due. Currently, Rule 42(b) gives a discretionary power to dismiss by using the word “may,” which is now proposed to be replaced with “must.”

The committee has already proposed changes to Bankruptcy Rules 2005, 3007, 7007.1 and 9036.

Technical corrections are requested to be made for Rule 2005 due to its current references to repealed provisions of the Criminal Code. Recommendations to amend Rule 3007(a)(2)(A)(ii) aim to limit its applicability to an insured depository institution as defined in section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act.

Additionally, an amended Rule 7007.1 would be made applicable to nongovernmental corporations seeking to intervene and would no longer require the submission of two copies of a bankruptcy appellate disclosure-statement. Further, proposed changes to Rule 9036 would address electronic noticing and service by courts separately from noticing and service by parties, taking into account that courts have access to addresses registered with the Bankruptcy Noticing Center, while parties do not.

As drafted, Rule 9036 would recognize the existence of a high-volume-notice recipient program and provide for service and noticing on its participants.

Finally, proposed amendments to Civil Rule 7.1 would conform the rule to pending amendments to Appellate Rule 26.1 and Bankruptcy Rule 8012(a), as well as facilitate the determination of whether diversity jurisdiction is defeated by attribution of a nonparty’s citizenship to a party.

Members of the bench, bar and general public are requested to make comment on the proposed amendments. The comment period will remain open through Feb. 19, 2020.

Instructions on how to submit comments, which must be done electronically, can be found here. 

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