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Administrative Office of the United States Courts

Bankruptcy Act

The Administrative Office has special responsibility for BANKRUPTCY courts. The Bankruptcy Amendments and Federal Judgeship Act of 1984 (28 U.S.C.A. § 152) established bankruptcy judges as distinct units of the federal district courts. Under the Bankruptcy Amendments Act, all cases under Title 11 of the United States Code and all proceedings related to federal statute 28 U.S.C.A. § 1334 are to be brought before federal district courts. Such a case arises when a person seeks to discharge his or her debts through judicial proceedings. When a suit is filed under Title 11, the federal district court will refer the case to its bankruptcy judges, as authorized by 28 U.S.C.A. § 157.

The bankruptcy judges are appointed by the federal courts of appeals and serve a 14-year term as judicial officers of the district courts. The number of bankruptcy judges is controlled by Congress, but the bankruptcy courts are overseen by the Administrative Office.

The director of the Administrative Office has specific duties related to the bankruptcy courts. The director must make recommendations to the Judicial Conference on logistical concerns such as the geographic placement of bankruptcy courts. The director must consider whether additional bankruptcy judges should be recommended to Congress; the director is also in charge of determining the staff needs of bankruptcy judges and clerks.

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