Judicial councils of circuits
The chief judge of each judicial circuit shall call, at least twice in each year and at such places as he or she may designate, a meeting of the judicial council of the circuit, consisting of the chief judge of the circuit, who shall preside, and an equal number of circuit judges and district judges of the circuit, as such number is determined by majority vote of all such judges of the circuit in regular active service.
Members of the council shall serve for terms established by a majority vote of all judges of the circuit in regular active service.
Except for the chief judge of the circuit, either judges in regular active service or judges retired from regular active service under section 371(b) of this title may serve as members of the council. Service as a member of a judicial council by a judge retired from regular active service under section 371(b) may not be considered for meeting the requirements of section 371(f)(1)(A), (B), or (C).1
1 See References in Text note below.
No more than one district judge from any one district shall serve simultaneously on the council, unless at least one district judge from each district within the circuit is already serving as a member of the council.
In the event of the death, resignation, retirement under section 371(a) or 372(a) of this title, or disability of a member of the council, a replacement member shall be designated to serve the remainder of the unexpired term by the chief judge of the circuit.
Each member of the council shall attend each council meeting unless excused by the chief judge of the circuit.
The council shall be known as the Judicial Council of the circuit.
The chief judge shall submit to the council the semiannual reports of the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. The council shall take such action thereon as may be necessary.
Each judicial council shall make all necessary and appropriate orders for the effective and expeditious administration of justice within its circuit. Any general order relating to practice and procedure shall be made or amended only after giving appropriate public notice and an opportunity for comment. Any such order so relating shall take effect upon the date specified by such judicial council. Copies of such orders so relating shall be furnished to the Judicial Conference and the Administrative Office of the United States Courts and be made available to the public. Each council is authorized to hold hearings, to take sworn testimony, and to issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum. Subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum shall be issued by the clerk of the court of appeals, at the direction of the chief judge of the circuit or his designee and under the seal of the court, and shall be served in the manner provided in rule 45(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum issued on behalf of the United States or an officer or agency thereof.
All judicial officers and employees of the circuit shall promptly carry into effect all orders of the judicial council. In the case of failure to comply with an order made under this subsection or a subpoena issued under chapter 16 of this title, a judicial council or a special committee appointed under section 353 of this title may institute a contempt proceeding in any district court in which the judicial officer or employee of the circuit who fails to comply with the order made under this subsection shall be ordered to show cause before the court why he or she should not be held in contempt of court.
Unless an impediment to the administration of justice is involved, regular business of the courts need not be referred to the council.
Each judicial council shall periodically review the rules which are prescribed under section 2071 of this title by district courts within its circuit for consistency with rules prescribed under section 2072 of this title. Each council may modify or abrogate any such rule found inconsistent in the course of such a review.
The judicial council of each circuit may appoint a circuit executive. In appointing a circuit executive, the judicial council shall take into account experience in administrative and executive positions, familiarity with court procedures, and special training. The circuit executive shall exercise such administrative powers and perform such duties as may be delegated to him by the circuit council. The duties delegated to the circuit executive of each circuit may include but need not be limited to:
Exercising administrative control of all nonjudicial activities of the court of appeals of the circuit in which he is appointed.
Administering the personnel system of the court of appeals of the circuit.
Administering the budget of the court of appeals of the circuit.
Maintaining a modern accounting system.
Establishing and maintaining property control records and undertaking a space management program.
Conducting studies relating to the business and administration of the courts within the circuit and preparing appropriate recommendations and reports to the chief judge, the circuit council, and the Judicial Conference.
Collecting, compiling, and analyzing statistical data with a view to the preparation and presentation of reports based on such data as may be directed by the chief judge, the circuit council, and the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
Representing the circuit as its liaison to the courts of the various States in which the circuit is located, the marshal’s office, State and local bar associations, civic groups, news media, and other private and public groups having a reasonable interest in the administration of the circuit.
Arranging and attending meetings of the judges of the circuit and of the circuit council, including preparing the agenda and serving as secretary in all such meetings.
Preparing an annual report to the circuit and to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts for the preceding calendar year, including recommendations for more expeditious disposition of the business of the circuit.
All duties delegated to the circuit executive shall be subject to the general supervision of the chief judge of the circuit.
Each circuit executive shall be paid at a salary to be established by the Judicial Conference of the United States not to exceed the annual rate of level IV of the Executive Schedule pay rates under section 5315 of title 5.
The circuit executive shall serve at the pleasure of the judicial council of the circuit.
The circuit executive may appoint, with the approval of the council, necessary employees in such number as may be approved by the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
The circuit executive and his staff shall be deemed to be officers and employees of the judicial branch of the United States Government within the meaning of subchapter III of chapter 83 (relating to civil service retirement), chapter 87 (relating to Federal employees’ life insurance program), and chapter 89 (relating to Federal employees’ health benefits program) of title 5, United States Code.
No later than January 31 of each year, each judicial council shall submit a report to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts on the number and nature of orders entered under this section during the preceding calendar year that relate to judicial misconduct or disability.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit may appoint a circuit executive, who shall serve at the pleasure of the court. In appointing a circuit executive, the court shall take into account experience in administrative and executive positions, familiarity with court procedures, and special training. The circuit executive shall exercise such administrative powers and perform such duties as may be delegated by the court. The duties delegated to the circuit executive may include the duties specified in subsection (e) of this section, insofar as such duties are applicable to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The circuit executive shall be paid the salary for circuit executives established under subsection (f) of this section.
The circuit executive may appoint, with the approval of the court, necessary employees in such number as may be approved by the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
The circuit executive and staff shall be deemed to be officers and employees of the United States within the meaning of the statutes specified in subsection (f)(4).
The court may appoint either a circuit executive under this subsection or a clerk under section 711 of this title, but not both, or may appoint a combined circuit executive/clerk who shall be paid the salary of a circuit executive.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 902; Pub. L. 88–176, § 3, Nov. 13, 1963, 77 Stat. 331; Pub. L. 91–647, Jan. 5, 1971, 84 Stat. 1907; Pub. L. 95–598, title II, § 209, Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2661; Pub. L. 96–458, § 2(a)–(d)(1), Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2035, 2036; Pub. L. 100–459, title IV, § 407, Oct. 1, 1988, 102 Stat. 2213; Pub. L. 100–702, title IV, § 403(a)(2), (b), title X, §§ 1018, 1020(a)(1), Nov. 19, 1988, 102 Stat. 4651, 4670, 4671; Pub. L. 101–650, title III, §§ 323, 325(b)(1), title IV, § 403, Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5120, 5121, 5124; Pub. L. 102–198, § 1, Dec. 9, 1991, 105 Stat. 1623; Pub. L. 104–317, title II, § 208, Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3851; Pub. L. 106–518, title II, § 205, title III, § 306, Nov. 13, 2000, 114 Stat. 2414, 2418; Pub. L. 106–553, § 1(a)(2) [title III, § 306], Dec. 21, 2000, 114 Stat. 2762, 2762A–85; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title I, § 11043(c), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1855.)