October 2, 2013
IN RE: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR STAY OF PROCEEDINGS DURING LAPSE IN APPROPRIATIONS
ORDER FOR STAY OF PROCEEDINGS DURING LAPSE IN APPROPRIATIONS
BARRY TED MOSKOWITZ, Chief District Judge.
1. The district judges assigned to these cases have designated Chief Judge Moskowitz to decide the United States' Ex Parte Motion to Stay.
2. The Court has been advised that at midnight on September 30, 2013, the continuing resolution that was funding the Department of Justice expired and the appropriation of funds to the Department lapsed. The same is true for most Executive Branch agencies, including the federal agencies involved in litigation in this District.
3. Absent an appropriation, Department of Justice attorneys and employees of the federal agencies are prohibited from working, even on a volunteer basis, "except for emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property." 31 U.S.C. § 1342. Civil cases are not deemed to be within this exemption.
4. The Court has been informed that the lapse in appropriations therefore prevents Department of Justice attorneys and their federal agency counterparts from appearing at hearings and depositions and performing work necessary to meet case deadlines, including those imposed by statute, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Civil Local Rules of this District, and by case management orders issued in individual cases. This situation will cause prejudice to the interests of the United States and the federal agencies, officers, and employees involved in civil litigation in this District.
WHEREFORE, the Court finds that good cause exists to grant the relief sought by the United States.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the United States' motions to stay are GRANTED. All time limits and deadlines specified in the ex parte applications on file in the cases on the attached list are extended for a period of time equal to the duration of the lapse in appropriations to the Department of Justice, and the specified depositions and court hearings are vacated. Each judge shall reschedule hearings and other appearances in stayed cases according to their calendar needs. The parties shall cooperatively establish new dates for depositions.
HOWEVER, each district judge retains the authority to vacate the stay in any case assigned to them upon notice to the parties. Further, this stay does not apply to applications for emergency relief of any type in stayed cases, and any party who seeks to lift the stay may file an appropriate motion to be heard by the assigned district or magistrate judge.