News from the Courts

Issue November 2009


Bankruptcy Merit Selection Panel to screen Worcester bankruptcy judge applicants

Chief Judge Sandra Lynch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has announced the formation of a Bankruptcy Merit Selection Panel to screen and review the qualifications of applicants for a bankruptcy judge position for the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, headquartered in Worcester.
The successful candidate will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Joel B. Rosenthal, who has served as the bankruptcy judge in Worcester since 2000.
Under the statute providing for the appointment of bankruptcy judges, the courts of appeals, assisted by the circuit councils, have the duty of filling vacancies on the bankruptcy court in each circuit.
The Merit Selection Panel will recommend to the First Circuit Judicial Council individuals whose character, experience and commitment to equal justice under the law fully qualify them to serve as U.S. bankruptcy judges. The Judicial Council will make recommendations to the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which will make the appointment.
Bankruptcy judges are appointed to 14-year terms by the Court of Appeals.

U.S. Court of Appeals adopts electronic filing provisions

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has adopted provisions to govern the electronic filing of documents in cases before the court. On Oct. 13, the court began permitting filings to be made by means of the court's electronic filing system.
Effective Jan. 1, use of the electronic filing system is mandatory for all attorneys filing in this court, unless they are granted an exemption, and is voluntary for all non-incarcerated pro se litigants proceeding without counsel. These provisions may be amended from time to time, with or without prior notice, by further order of the court.
The clerk may make changes to the procedures for electronic filing to adapt to changes in technology or to facilitate electronic filing. The court may deviate from these procedures in specific cases if deemed appropriate in the exercise of its discretion.

U.S. Court of Appeals proposes time-computation amendments

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit hereby provides notice that it proposes amendments to various local rules and internal operating procedures. The amendments are made to be consistent with the time-computation amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure effective Dec. 1.
The court also provides notice of the deletion of Local Rule 22.0, an outdated provision regarding certificates of probable cause. The provision is no longer necessary, as certificates of appealability have replaced certificates of probable cause for habeas appeals initiated on or after April 24, 1996.


Natick District Court relocated to Framingham to save costs

The Natick District Court has relocated to its new location within the Framingham District Court, 600 Concord St., Framingham. The temporary relocation is an expense-reduction measure in response to the statewide economic decline.
The main number for the Natick District Court is (508) 620-9110 and the clerk's fax number is (508) 620-9118. The Probation office fax is (508) 620-9119. The new mailing address is 600 Concord St., Framingham, MA 01701. ?