| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 2915 (is) To make improvements in the operation and administration of the Federal courts, and for other purposes. [Introduced in Senate] ...
S. 2915 (is) To make improvements in the operation and administration of the Federal courts, and for other purposes. [Introduced in Senate] ...
106th CONGRESS 2d Session S. 2915 _______________________________________________________________________ AN ACT To make improvements in the operation and administration of the Federal courts, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND TABLE OF CONTENTS. (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Federal Courts Improvement Act of 2000''. (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as follows: Sec. 1. Short title and table of contents. TITLE I--JUDICIAL FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION Sec. 101. Extension of Judiciary Information Technology Fund. Sec. 102. Disposition of miscellaneous fees. Sec. 103. Transfer of retirement funds. Sec. 104. Increase in chapter 9 bankruptcy filing fee. Sec. 105. Increase in fee for converting a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy case to a chapter 11 bankruptcy case. Sec. 106. Bankruptcy fees. TITLE II--JUDICIAL PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS Sec. 201. Extension of statutory authority for magistrate judge positions to be established in the district courts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Sec. 202. Magistrate judge contempt authority. Sec. 203. Consent to magistrate judge authority in petty offense cases and magistrate judge authority in misdemeanor cases involving juvenile defendants. Sec. 204. Savings and loan data reporting requirements. Sec. 205. Membership in circuit judicial councils. Sec. 206. Sunset of civil justice expense and delay reduction plans. Sec. 207. Repeal of Court of Federal Claims filing fee. Sec. 208. Technical bankruptcy correction. Sec. 209. Technical amendment relating to the treatment of certain bankruptcy fees collected. Sec. 210. Maximum amounts of compensation for attorneys. Sec. 211. Reimbursement of expenses in defense of certain malpractice actions. TITLE III--JUDICIAL PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATION, BENEFITS, AND PROTECTIONS Sec. 301. Judicial administrative officials retirement matters. Sec. 302. Applicability of leave provisions to employees of the Sentencing Commission. Sec. 303. Payments to military survivors benefits plan. Sec. 304. Creation of certifying officers in the judicial branch. Sec. 305. Amendment to the jury selection process. Sec. 306. Authorization of a circuit executive for the Federal circuit. Sec. 307. Residence of retired judges. Sec. 308. Recall of judges on disability status. Sec. 309. Personnel application and insurance programs relating to judges of the Court of Federal Claims. Sec. 310. Lump-sum payment for accumulated and accrued leave on separation. Sec. 311. Employment of personal assistants for handicapped employees. Sec. 312. Mandatory retirement age for Director of the Federal Judicial Center. Sec. 313. Reauthorization of certain Supreme Court Police authority. TITLE IV--FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDERS Sec. 401. Tort Claims Act amendment relating to liability of Federal public defenders. TITLE V--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS Sec. 501. Extensions relating to bankruptcy administrator program. Sec. 502. Additional place of holding court in the district of Oregon. TITLE I--JUDICIAL FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION SEC. 101. EXTENSION OF JUDICIARY INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FUND. Section 612 of title 28, United States Code, is amended-- (1) by striking ``equipment'' each place it appears and inserting ``resources''; (2) by striking subsection (f) and redesignating subsections (g) through (k) as subsections (f) through (j), respectively; (3) in subsection (g), as so redesignated, by striking paragraph (3); and (4) in subsection (i), as so redesignated-- (A) by striking ``Judiciary'' each place it appears and inserting ``judiciary''; (B) by striking ``subparagraph (c)(1)(B)'' and inserting ``subsection (c)(1)(B)''; and (C) by striking ``under (c)(1)(B)'' and inserting ``under subsection (c)(1)(B)''. SEC. 102. DISPOSITION OF MISCELLANEOUS FEES. For fiscal year 2001 and each fiscal year thereafter, any portion of miscellaneous fees collected as prescribed by the Judicial Conference of the United States under sections 1913, 1914(b), 1926(a), 1930(b), and 1932 of title 28, United States Code, exceeding the amount of such fees in effect on September 30, 2000, shall be deposited into the special fund of the Treasury established under section 1931 of title 28, United States Code. SEC. 103. TRANSFER OF RETIREMENT FUNDS. Section 377 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ``(p) Transfer of Retirement Funds.--Upon election by a bankruptcy judge or a magistrate judge under subsection (f) of this section, all of the accrued employer contributions and accrued interest on those contributions made on behalf of the bankruptcy judge or magistrate judge to the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund under section 8348 of title 5 shall be transferred to the fund established under section 1931 of this title, except that if the bankruptcy judge or magistrate judge elects under section 2(c) of the Retirement and Survivor's Annuities for Bankruptcy Judges and Magistrates Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-659), to receive a retirement annuity under both this section and title 5, only the accrued employer contributions and accrued interest on such contributions, made on behalf of the bankruptcy judge or magistrate judge for service credited under this section, may be transferred.''. SEC. 104. INCREASE IN CHAPTER 9 BANKRUPTCY FILING FEE. Section 1930(a)(2) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by striking ``$300'' and inserting ``equal to the fee specified in paragraph (3) for filing a case under chapter 11 of title 11. The amount by which the fee payable under this paragraph exceeds $300 shall be deposited in the fund established under section 1931 of this title''. SEC. 105. INCREASE IN FEE FOR CONVERTING A CHAPTER 7 OR CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY CASE TO A CHAPTER 11 BANKRUPTCY CASE. The flush paragraph at the end of section 1930(a) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by striking ``$400'' and inserting ``the amount equal to the difference between the fee specified in paragraph (3) and the fee specified in paragraph (1)''. SEC. 106. BANKRUPTCY FEES. Section 1930(a) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ``(7) In districts that are not part of a United States trustee region as defined in section 581 of this title, the Judicial Conference of the United States may require the debtor in a case under chapter 11 of title 11 to pay fees equal to those imposed by paragraph (6) of this subsection. Such fees shall be deposited as offsetting receipts to the fund established under section 1931 of this title and shall remain available until expended.''. TITLE II--JUDICIAL PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS SEC. 201. EXTENSION OF STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR MAGISTRATE JUDGE POSITIONS TO BE ESTABLISHED IN THE DISTRICT COURTS OF GUAM AND THE NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS. Section 631 of title 28, United States Code, is amended-- (1) by striking the first two sentences of subsection (a) and inserting the following: ``The judges of each United States district court and the district courts of the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands shall appoint United States magistrate judges in such numbers and to serve at such locations within the judicial districts as the Judicial Conference may determine under this chapter. In the case of a magistrate judge appointed by the district court of the Virgin Islands, Guam, or the Northern Mariana Islands, this chapter shall apply as though the court appointing such a magistrate judge were a United States district court.''; and (2) by inserting in the first sentence of paragraph (1) of subsection (b) after ``Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,'' the following: ``the Territory of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands,''. SEC. 202. MAGISTRATE JUDGE CONTEMPT AUTHORITY. Section 636(e) of title 28, United States Code, is amended to read as follows: ``(e) Contempt Authority.-- ``(1) In general.--A United States magistrate judge serving under this chapter shall have within the territorial jurisdiction prescribed by the appointment of such magistrate judge the power to exercise contempt authority as set forth in this subsection. ``(2) Summary criminal contempt authority.--A magistrate judge shall have the power to punish summarily by fine or imprisonment such contempt of the authority of such magistrate judge constituting misbehavior of any person in the magistrate judge's presence so as to obstruct the administration of justice. The order of contempt shall be issued under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. ``(3) Additional criminal contempt authority in civil consent and misdemeanor cases.--In any case in which a United States magistrate judge presides with the consent of the parties under subsection (c) of this section, and in any misdemeanor case proceeding before a magistrate judge under section 3401 of title 18, the magistrate judge shall have the power to punish, by fine or imprisonment, criminal contempt constituting disobedience or resistance to the magistrate judge's lawful writ, process, order, rule, decree, or command. Disposition of such contempt shall be conducted upon notice and hearing under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. ``(4) Civil contempt authority in civil consent and misdemeanor cases.--In any case in which a United States magistrate judge presides with the consent of the parties under subsection (c) of this section, and in any misdemeanor case proceeding before a magistrate judge under section 3401 of title 18, the magistrate judge may exercise the civil contempt authority of the district court. This paragraph shall not be construed to limit the authority of a magistrate judge to order sanctions under any other statute, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. ``(5) Criminal contempt penalties.--The sentence imposed by a magistrate judge for any criminal contempt provided for in paragraphs (2) and (3) shall not exceed the penalties for a Class C misdemeanor as set forth in sections 3581(b)(8) and 3571(b)(6) of title 18. ``(6) Certification of other contempts to the district court.--Upon the commission of any such act-- ``(A) in any case in which a United States magistrate judge presides with the consent of the parties under subsection (c) of this section, or in any misdemeanor case proceeding before a magistrate judge under section 3401 of title 18, that may, in the opinion of the magistrate judge, constitute a serious criminal contempt punishable by penalties exceeding those set forth in paragraph (5) of this subsection; or ``(B) in any other case or proceeding under subsection (a) or (b) of this section, or any other statute, where-- ``(i) the act committed in the magistrate judge's presence may, in the opinion of the magistrate judge, constitute a serious criminal contempt punishable by penalties exceeding those set forth in paragraph (5) of this subsection; ``(ii) the act that constitutes a criminal contempt occurs outside the presence of the magistrate judge; or ``(iii) the act constitutes a civil contempt, the magistrate judge shall forthwith certify the facts to a district judge and may serve or cause to be served, upon any person whose behavior is brought into question under this paragraph, an order requiring such person to appear before a district judge upon a day certain to show cause why that person should not be adjudged in contempt by reason of the facts so certified. The district judge shall thereupon hear the evidence as to the act or conduct complained of and, if it is such as to warrant punishment, punish such person in the same manner and to the same extent as for a contempt committed before a district judge. ``(7) Appeals of magistrate judge contempt orders.--The appeal of an order of contempt under this subsection shall be made to the court of appeals in cases proceeding under subsection (c) of this section. The appeal of any other order of contempt issued under this section shall be made to the district court.''. SEC. 203. CONSENT TO MAGISTRATE JUDGE AUTHORITY IN PETTY OFFENSE CASES AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE AUTHORITY IN MISDEMEANOR CASES INVOLVING JUVENILE DEFENDANTS.
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