Text: S.1887 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 104-317 (10/19/1996)

 
[104th Congress Public Law 317]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


<DOC>
[DOCID: f:publ317.104]


[[Page 110 STAT. 3847]]

Public Law 104-317
104th Congress

                                 An Act


 
To make improvements in the operation and administration of the Federal 
  courts, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: Oct. 19, 1996 -  [S. 1887]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress <<NOTE: Federal Courts Improvement 
Act of 1996.>> assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short <<NOTE: 28 USC 1 note.>> Title.--This Act may be cited as 
the ``Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1996''.

    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

          TITLE I--CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE AMENDMENTS

Sec. 101. New authority for probation and pretrial services officers.

                 TITLE II--JUDICIAL PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS

Sec. 201. Duties of magistrate judge on emergency assignment.
Sec. 202. Consent to trial in certain criminal actions.
Sec. 203. Registration of judgments for enforcement in other districts.
Sec. 204. Vacancy in clerk position; absence of clerk.
Sec. 205. Diversity jurisdiction.
Sec. 206. Removal of cases against the United States and Federal 
           officers or agencies.
Sec. 207. Appeal route in civil cases decided by magistrate judges with 
           consent.
Sec. 208. Reports by judicial councils relating to misconduct and 
           disability orders.

TITLE III--JUDICIARY PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATION, BENEFITS, AND PROTECTIONS

Sec. 301. Senior judge certification.
Sec. 302. Refund of contribution for deceased deferred annuitant under 
           the Judicial Survivors' Annuities System.
Sec. 303. Bankruptcy judges reappointment procedure.
Sec. 304. Technical correction related to commencement date of temporary 
           judgeships.
Sec. 305. Full-time status of court reporters.
Sec. 306. Court interpreters.
Sec. 307. Technical amendment related to commencement date of temporary 
           bankruptcy judgeships.
Sec. 308. Contribution rate for senior judges under the judicial 
           survivors' annuities system.
Sec. 309. Prohibition against awards of costs, including attorney's 
           fees, and injunctive relief against a judicial officer.

               TITLE IV--JUDICIAL FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION

Sec. 401. Increase in civil action filing fee.
Sec. 402. Interpreter performance examination fees.
Sec. 403. Judicial panel on multidistrict litigation.
Sec. 404. Disposition of fees.

         TITLE V--FEDERAL COURTS STUDY COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

Sec. 501. Qualification of Chief Judge of Court of International Trade.

[[Page 110 STAT. 3848]]

                         TITLE VI--MISCELLANEOUS

Sec. 601. Participation in judicial governance activities by district, 
           senior, and magistrate judges.
Sec. 602. The Director and Deputy Director of the administrative office 
           as officers of the United States.
Sec. 603. Removal of action from State court.
Sec. 604. Federal judicial center employee retirement provisions.
Sec. 605. Abolition of the special court, Regional Rail Reorganization 
           Act of 1973.
Sec. 606. Place of holding court in the District Court of Utah.
Sec. 607. Exception of residency requirement for district judges 
           appointed to the Southern District and Eastern District of 
           New York.
Sec. 608. Extension of civil justice expense and delay reduction reports 
           on demonstration and pilot programs.
Sec. 609. Place of holding court in the Southern District of New York.
Sec. 610. Venue for territorial courts.

          TITLE I--CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE AMENDMENTS

SEC. 101. NEW AUTHORITY FOR PROBATION AND PRETRIAL SERVICES 
                        OFFICERS.

    (a) Probation Officers.--Section 3603 of title 18, United States 
Code, is amended--
            (1) by striking out ``and'' at the end of paragraph (8)(B);
            (2) by redesignating paragraph (9) as paragraph (10); and
            (3) by inserting after paragraph (8) the following new 
        paragraph:
            ``(9) if approved by the district court, be authorized to 
        carry firearms under such rules and regulations as the Director 
        of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts may 
        prescribe; and''.

    (b) Pretrial Services Officers.--Section 3154 of title 18, United 
States Code, is amended--
            (1) by redesignating paragraph (13) as paragraph (14); and
            (2) by inserting after paragraph (12) the following new 
        paragraph:
            ``(13) If approved by the district court, be authorized to 
        carry firearms under such rules and regulations as the Director 
        of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts may 
        prescribe.''.

                 TITLE II--JUDICIAL PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS

SEC. 201. DUTIES OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE ON EMERGENCY ASSIGNMENT.

    The first sentence of section 636(f) of title 28, United States 
Code, is amended by striking out ``(a) or (b)'' and inserting in lieu 
thereof ``(a), (b), or (c)''.

SEC. 202. CONSENT TO TRIAL IN CERTAIN CRIMINAL ACTIONS.

    (a) Amendments to Title 18.--(1) Section 3401(b) of title 18, United 
States Code, is amended--
            (A) in the first sentence by inserting ``, other than a 
        petty offense that is a class B misdemeanor charging a motor 
        vehicle offense, a class C misdemeanor, or an infraction,'' 
        after ``misdemeanor'';

[[Page 110 STAT. 3849]]

            (B) in the second sentence by inserting ``judge'' after 
        ``magistrate'' each place it appears;
            (C) by striking out the third sentence and inserting in lieu 
        thereof the following: ``The magistrate judge may not proceed to 
        try the case unless the defendant, after such explanation, 
        expressly consents to be tried before the magistrate judge and 
        expressly and specifically waives trial, judgment, and 
        sentencing by a district judge. Any such consent and waiver 
        shall be made in writing or orally on the record.''; and
            (D) by striking out ``judge of the district court'' each 
        place it appears and inserting in lieu thereof ``district 
        judge''.

    (2) Section 3401(g) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by 
striking out the first sentence and inserting in lieu thereof the 
following: ``The magistrate judge may, in a petty offense case involving 
a juvenile, that is a class B misdemeanor charging a motor vehicle 
offense, a class C misdemeanor, or an infraction, exercise all powers 
granted to the district court under chapter 403 of this title. The 
magistrate judge may, in any other class B or C misdemeanor case 
involving a juvenile in which consent to trial before a magistrate judge 
has been filed under subsection (b), exercise all powers granted to the 
district court under chapter 403 of this title.''.
    (b) Amendments to Title 28.--Section 636(a) of title 28, United 
States Code, is amended--
            (1) by striking out ``, and'' at the end of paragraph (3) 
        and inserting in lieu thereof a semicolon; and
            (2) by striking out paragraph (4) and inserting the 
        following:
            ``(4) the power to enter a sentence for a petty offense that 
        is a class B misdemeanor charging a motor vehicle offense, a 
        class C misdemeanor, or an infraction; and
            ``(5) the power to enter a sentence for a class A 
        misdemeanor, or a class B or C misdemeanor not covered by 
        paragraph (4), in a case in which the parties have consented.''.
SEC. 203. REGISTRATION OF JUDGMENTS FOR ENFORCEMENT IN OTHER 
                        DISTRICTS.

    (a) In General.--Section 1963 of title 28, United States Code, is 
amended--
            (1) by amending the section heading to read as follows:

``Sec. 1963. Registration of judgments for enforcement in other 
                        districts'';

            (2) in the first sentence--
                    (A) by striking out ``district court'' and inserting 
                in lieu thereof ``court of appeals, district court, 
                bankruptcy court,''; and
                    (B) by striking out ``such judgment'' and inserting 
                in lieu thereof ``the judgment''; and
            (3) by adding at the end thereof the following new 
        undesignated paragraph:

    ``The procedure prescribed under this section is in addition to 
other procedures provided by law for the enforcement of judgments.''.

[[Page 110 STAT. 3850]]

    (b) Technical and Conforming Amendment.--The table of sections for 
chapter 125 of title 28, United States Code, relating to section 1963 is 
amended to read as follows:

``1963. Registration of judgments for enforcement in other districts.''.

SEC. 204. VACANCY IN CLERK POSITION; ABSENCE OF CLERK.

    (a) In General.--Section 954 of title 28, United States Code, is 
amended to read as follows:

``Sec. 954. Vacancy in clerk position; absence of clerk

    ``When the office of clerk is vacant, the deputy clerks shall 
perform the duties of the clerk in the name of the last person who held 
that office. When the clerk is incapacitated, absent, or otherwise 
unavailable to perform official duties, the deputy clerks shall perform 
the duties of the clerk in the name of the clerk. The court may 
designate a deputy clerk to act temporarily as clerk of the court in his 
or her own name.''.
    (b) Technical and Conforming Amendment.--The table of sections for 
chapter 57 of title 28, United States Code, relating to section 954 is 
amended to read as follows:

``954. Vacancy in clerk position; absence of clerk.''.

SEC. 205. DIVERSITY JURISDICTION.

    (a) In General.--Section 1332 of title 28, United States Code, is 
amended--
            (1) in subsection (a) by striking out ``$50,000'' and 
        inserting in lieu thereof  ``$75,000''; and
            (2) in subsection (b) by striking out ``$50,000'' and 
        inserting in lieu thereof  ``$75,000''.

    (b) Effective <<NOTE: 28 USC 1332 note.>> Date.--The amendment made 
by this section shall take effect 90 days after the date of enactment of 
this Act.
SEC. 206. REMOVAL OF CASES AGAINST THE UNITED STATES AND FEDERAL 
                        OFFICERS OR AGENCIES.

    (a) In General.--Section 1442 of title 28, United States Code, is 
amended--
            (1) in the section heading by inserting ``or agencies'' 
        after ``officers''; and
            (2) in subsection (a)--
                    (A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1) by 
                striking out ``persons''; and
                    (B) in paragraph (1) by striking out ``Any officer 
                of the United States or any agency thereof, or person 
                acting under him, for any act under color of such 
                office'' and inserting in lieu thereof ``The United 
                States or any agency thereof or any officer (or any 
                person acting under that officer) of the United States 
                or of any agency thereof, sued in an official or 
                individual capacity for any act under color of such 
                office''.

    (b) Technical and Conforming Amendment.--The table of sections for 
chapter 89 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by amending the 
item relating to section 1442 to read as follows:

``1442. Federal officers and agencies sued or prosecuted.''.

SEC. 207. APPEAL ROUTE IN CIVIL CASES DECIDED BY MAGISTRATE JUDGES 
                        WITH CONSENT.

    Section 636 of title 28, United States Code, is amended--

[[Page 110 STAT. 3851]]

            (1) in subsection (c)--
                    (A) in paragraph (3) by striking out ``In this 
                circumstance, the'' and inserting in lieu thereof  
                ``The'';
                    (B) by striking out paragraphs (4) and (5); and
                    (C) by redesignating paragraphs (6) and (7) as 
                paragraphs (4) and (5); and
            (2) in subsection (d) by striking out ``, and for the taking 
        and hearing of appeals to the district courts,''.
SEC. 208. REPORTS BY JUDICIAL COUNCILS RELATING TO MISCONDUCT AND 
                        DISABILITY ORDERS.

    Section 332 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at 
the end thereof the following new subsection:
    ``(g) 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.''.

TITLE III--JUDICIARY PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATION, BENEFITS, AND PROTECTIONS

SEC. 301. SENIOR JUDGE CERTIFICATION.

    (a) Retroactive Credit for Resumption of Significant Workload.--
Section 371(f)(3) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by 
striking out ``is thereafter ineligible to receive such a 
certification.'' and inserting in lieu thereof ``may thereafter receive 
a certification for that year by satisfying the requirements of 
subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (D) of paragraph (1) of this subsection 
in a subsequent year and attributing a sufficient part of the work 
performed in such subsequent year to the earlier year so that the work 
so attributed, when added to the work performed during such earlier 
year, satisfies the requirements for certification for that year. 
However, a justice or judge may not receive credit for the same work for 
purposes of certification for more than 1 year.''.
    (b) Aggregation of Certain Work for Partial Years.--Section 
371(f)(1) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the 
end of subparagraph (D) the following: ``In any year in which a justice 
or judge performs work described under this subparagraph for less than 
the full year, one-half of such work may be aggregated with work 
described under subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of this paragraph for the 
purpose of the justice or judge satisfying the requirements of such 
subparagraph.''.
SEC. 302. REFUND OF CONTRIBUTION FOR DECEASED DEFERRED ANNUITANT 
                        UNDER THE JUDICIAL SURVIVORS' ANNUITIES 
                        SYSTEM.

    Section 376(o)(1) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by 
striking out ``or while receiving `retirement salary','' and inserting 
in lieu thereof ``while receiving retirement salary, or after filing an 
election and otherwise complying with the conditions under subsection 
(b)(2) of this section,''.

[[Page 110 STAT. 3852]]

SEC. 303. BANKRUPTCY JUDGES REAPPOINTMENT PROCEDURE.

    Section 120 of the Bankruptcy Amendments and Federal Judgeship Act 
of 1984 (Public Law 98-353; 98 Stat. 344), <<NOTE: 28 USC 152 note.>> is 
amended--
            (1) in subsection (a) by adding at the end thereof the 
        following new paragraph:

    ``(3) When filling vacancies, the court of appeals may consider 
reappointing incumbent bankruptcy judges under procedures prescribed by 
regulations issued by the Judicial Conference of the United States.''; 
and
            (2) in subsection (b) by adding at the end thereof the 
        following: ``All incumbent nominees seeking reappointment 
        thereafter may be considered for such a reappointment, pursuant 
        to a majority vote of the judges of the appointing court of 
        appeals, under procedures authorized under subsection (a)(3).''.
SEC. 304. TECHNICAL CORRECTION RELATED TO COMMENCEMENT DATE OF 
                        TEMPORARY JUDGESHIPS.

    Section 203(c) of the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990 (Public Law 
101-650; 104 Stat. 5101; 28 U.S.C. 133 note) is amended by adding at the 
end thereof the following: ``For districts named in this subsection for 
which multiple judgeships are created by this Act, the last of those 
judgeships filled shall be the judgeship created under this 
subsection.''.

SEC. 305. FULL-TIME STATUS OF COURT REPORTERS.

    Section 753(e) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by 
inserting after the first sentence the following: ``For the purposes of 
subchapter III of chapter 83 of title 5 and chapter 84 of such title, a 
reporter shall be considered a full-time employee during any pay period 
for which a reporter receives a salary at the annual salary rate fixed 
for a full-time reporter under the preceding sentence.''.

SEC. 306. COURT INTERPRETERS.

    Section 1827 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding 
at the end thereof the following new subsection:
    ``(l) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or section 
1828, the presiding judicial officer may appoint a certified or 
otherwise qualified sign language interpreter to provide services to a 
party, witness, or other participant in a judicial proceeding, whether 
or not the proceeding is instituted by the United States, if the 
presiding judicial officer determines, on such officer's own motion or 
on the motion of a party or other participant in the proceeding, that 
such individual suffers from a hearing impairment. The presiding 
judicial officer shall, subject to the availability of appropriated 
funds, approve the compensation and expenses payable to sign language 
interpreters appointed under this section in accordance with the 
schedule of fees prescribed by the Director under subsection (b)(3) of 
this section.''.
SEC. 307. TECHNICAL AMENDMENT RELATED TO COMMENCEMENT DATE OF 
                        TEMPORARY BANKRUPTCY JUDGESHIPS.

    Section 3(b) of the Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 1992 (Public Law 
102-361; 106 Stat. 965; 28 U.S.C. 152 note) is amended in the first 
sentence by striking out ``date of the enactment of this Act'' and 
inserting in lieu thereof ``appointment date of the judge named to fill 
the temporary judgeship position''.

[[Page 110 STAT. 3853]]

SEC. 308. CONTRIBUTION RATE FOR SENIOR JUDGES UNDER THE JUDICIAL 
                        SURVIVORS' ANNUITIES SYSTEM.

    Section 376(b)(1) of title 28, United States Code, is amended to 
read as follows:
    ``(b)(1) Every judicial official who files a written notification of 
his or her intention to come within the purview of this section, in 
accordance with paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this section, shall 
be deemed thereby to consent and agree to having deducted and withheld 
from his or her salary a sum equal to 2.2 percent of that salary, and a 
sum equal to 3.5 percent of his or her retirement salary. The deduction 
from any retirement salary--
            ``(A) of a justice or judge of the United States retired 
        from regular active service under section 371(b) or section 
        372(a) of this title,
            ``(B) of a judge of the United States Court of Federal 
        Claims retired under section 178 of this title, or
            ``(C) of a judicial official on recall under section 155(b), 
        373(c)(4), 375, or 636(h) of this title,

shall be an amount equal to 2.2 percent of retirement salary.''.
SEC. 309. PROHIBITION AGAINST AWARDS OF COSTS, INCLUDING 
                        ATTORNEY'S FEES, AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 
                        AGAINST A JUDICIAL OFFICER.

    (a) Nonliability <<NOTE: 28 USC 2412 note.>> for Costs.--
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no judicial officer shall be 
held liable for any costs, including attorney's fees, in any action 
brought against such officer for an act or omission taken in such 
officer's judicial capacity, unless such action was clearly in excess of 
such officer's jurisdiction.

    (b) Proceedings in Vindication of Civil Rights.--Section 722(b) of 
the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1988(b)) is amended by inserting before 
the period at the end thereof ``, except that in any action brought 
against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such 
officer's judicial capacity such officer shall not be held liable for 
any costs, including attorney's fees, unless such action was clearly in 
excess of such officer's jurisdiction''.
    (c) Civil Action for Deprivation of Rights.--Section 1979 of the 
Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1983) is amended by inserting before the 
period at the end of the first sentence: ``, except that in any action 
brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such 
officer's judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted 
unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was 
unavailable''.

               TITLE IV--JUDICIAL FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION

SEC. 401. INCREASE IN CIVIL ACTION FILING FEE.

    (a) Filing Fee Increase.--Section 1914(a) of title 28, United States 
Code, is amended by striking out ``$120'' and inserting in lieu thereof 
``$150''.
    (b) Disposition of Increase.--Section 1931 of title 28, United 
States Code, is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a) by striking out ``$60'' and inserting 
        in lieu thereof ``$90''; and
            (2) in subsection (b)--

[[Page 110 STAT. 3854]]

                    (A) by striking out ``$120'' and inserting in lieu 
                thereof ``$150''; and
                    (B) by striking out ``$60'' and inserting in lieu 
                thereof ``$90''.

<<NOTE: 28 USC 1914 note.>>     (c) Effective Date.--This section shall 
take effect 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 402. INTERPRETER PERFORMANCE EXAMINATION FEES.

    (a) In General.--Section 1827(g) of title 28, United States Code, is 
amended by redesignating paragraph (5) as paragraph (6) and inserting 
after paragraph (4) the following new paragraph:
    ``(5) If the Director of the Administrative Office of the United 
States Courts finds it necessary to develop and administer criterion-
referenced performance examinations for purposes of certification, or 
other examinations for the selection of otherwise qualified 
interpreters, the Director may prescribe for each examination a uniform 
fee for applicants to take such examination. In determining the rate of 
the fee for each examination, the Director shall consider the fees 
charged by other organizations for examinations that are similar in 
scope or nature. Notwithstanding section 3302(b) of title 31, the 
Director is authorized to provide in any contract or agreement for the 
development or administration of examinations and the collection of fees 
that the contractor may retain all or a portion of the fees in payment 
for the services. Notwithstanding paragraph (6) of this subsection, all 
fees collected after the effective date of this paragraph and not 
retained by a contractor shall be deposited in the fund established 
under section 1931 of this title and shall remain available until 
expended.''.
<<NOTE: 28 USC 1827 note.>>     (b) Payment for Contractual Services.--
Notwithstanding sections 3302(b), 1341, and 1517 of title 31, United 
States Code, the Director of the Administrative Office of the United 
States Courts may include in any contract for the development or 
administration of examinations for interpreters (including such a 
contract entered into before the date of the enactment of this Act) a 
provision which permits the contractor to collect and retain fees in 
payment for contractual services in accordance with section 1827(g)(5) 
of title 28, United States Code.

SEC. 403. JUDICIAL PANEL ON MULTIDISTRICT LITIGATION.

    (a) In General.--(1) Chapter 123 of title 28, United States Code, is 
amended by adding after section 1931 the following new section:

``Sec. 1932. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation

    ``The Judicial Conference of the United States shall prescribe from 
time to time the fees and costs to be charged and collected by the 
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.''.
    (2) The table of sections for chapter 123 of title 28, United States 
Code, is amended by adding after the item relating to section 1931 the 
following:

``1932. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.''.

    (b) Related Fees for Access to Information.--Section 303(a) of the 
Judiciary Appropriations Act, 1992 (Public Law 102-140; 105 Stat. 810; 
28 U.S.C. 1913 note) is amended in the first sentence by striking out 
``1926, and 1930'' and inserting in lieu thereof ``1926, 1930, and 
1932''.

[[Page 110 STAT. 3855]]

SEC. 404. DISPOSITION OF FEES. <<NOTE: 28 USC 1931 note.>> 

    (a) Disposition of Attorney Admission Fees.--For each fee collected 
for admission of an attorney to practice, as prescribed by the Judicial 
Conference of the United States pursuant to section 1914 of title 28, 
United States Code, $30 of that portion of the fee exceeding $20 shall 
be deposited into the special fund of the Treasury established under 
section 1931 of title 28, United States Code. Any portion exceeding $5 
of the fee for a duplicate certificate of admission or certificate of 
good standing, as prescribed by the Judicial Conference of the United 
States pursuant to section 1914 of title 28, United States Code, shall 
be deposited into the special fund of the Treasury established under 
section 1931 of title 28, United States Code.
    (b) Disposition of Bankruptcy Complaint Filing Fees.--For each fee 
collected for filing an adversary complaint in a bankruptcy proceeding, 
as established in Item 6 of the Bankruptcy Court Miscellaneous Fee 
Schedule prescribed by the Judicial Conference of the United States 
pursuant to section 1930(b) of title 28, United States Code, the portion 
of the fee exceeding $120 shall be deposited into the special fund of 
the Treasury established under section 1931 of title 28, United States 
Code.
    (c) Effective Date.--This section shall take effect 60 days after 
the date of the enactment of this Act.

         TITLE V--FEDERAL COURTS STUDY COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

SEC. 501. QUALIFICATION OF CHIEF JUDGE OF COURT OF INTERNATIONAL 
                        TRADE.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 11 of title 28, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end thereof the following new section:

``Sec. 258. Chief judges; precedence of judges

    ``(a)(1) The chief judge of the Court of International Trade shall 
be the judge of the court in regular active service who is senior in 
commission of those judges who--
            ``(A) are 64 years of age or under;
            ``(B) have served for 1 year or more as a judge of the 
        court; and
            ``(C) have not served previously as chief judge.

    ``(2)(A) In any case in which no judge of the court meets the 
qualifications under paragraph (1), the youngest judge in regular active 
service who is 65 years of age or over and who has served as a judge of 
the court for 1 year or more shall act as the chief judge.
    ``(B) In any case under subparagraph (A) in which there is no judge 
of the court in regular active service who has served as a judge of the 
court for 1 year or more, the judge of the court in regular active 
service who is senior in commission and who has not served previously as 
chief judge shall act as the chief judge.
    ``(3)(A) Except as provided under subparagraph (C), the chief judge 
serving under paragraph (1) shall serve for a term of 7 years and shall 
serve after expiration of such term until another judge is eligible 
under paragraph (1) to serve as chief judge.

[[Page 110 STAT. 3856]]

    ``(B) Except as provided under subparagraph (C), a judge of the 
court acting as chief judge under subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph 
(2) shall serve until a judge meets the qualifications under paragraph 
(1).
    ``(C) No judge of the court may serve or act as chief judge of the 
court after attaining the age of 70 years unless no other judge is 
qualified to serve as chief judge under paragraph (1) or is qualified to 
act as chief judge under paragraph (2).
    ``(b) The chief judge shall have precedence and preside at any 
session of the court which such judge attends. Other judges of the court 
shall have precedence and preside according to the seniority of their 
commissions. Judges whose commissions bear the same date shall have 
precedence according to seniority in age.
    ``(c) If the chief judge desires to be relieved of the duties as 
chief judge while retaining active status as a judge of the court, the 
chief judge may so certify to the Chief Justice of the United States, 
and thereafter the chief judge of the court shall be such other judge of 
the court who is qualified to serve or act as chief judge under 
subsection (a).
    ``(d) If a chief judge is temporarily unable to perform the duties 
as such, such duties shall be performed by the judge of the court in 
active service, able and qualified to act, who is next in precedence.''.
    (b) Technical and Conforming Amendments.--Chapter 11 of title 28, 
United States Code, is amended--
            (1) in section 251 by striking out subsection (b) and 
        redesignating subsection (c) as subsection (b);
            (2) in section 253--
                    (A) by amending the section heading to read as 
                follows:

``Sec. 253. Duties of chief judge'';

                and
                    (B) by striking out subsections (d) and (e); and
            (3) in the table of sections for chapter 11 of title 28, 
        United States Code--
                    (A) by amending the item relating to section 253 to 
                read as follows:

``253. Duties of chief judge.'';

                and
                    (B) by adding at the end thereof the following:

``258. Chief judges; precedence of judges.''.

<<NOTE: 28 USC 258 note.>>     (c) Application.--(1) Notwithstanding the 
provisions of section 258(a) of title 28, United States Code (as added 
by subsection (a) of this section), the chief judge of the United States 
Court of International Trade who is in office on the day before the date 
of enactment of this Act shall continue to be such chief judge on or 
after such date until any one of the following events occurs:
            (A) The chief judge is relieved of his duties under section 
        258(c) of title 28, United States Code.
            (B) The regular active status of the chief judge is 
        terminated.
            (C) The chief judge attains the age of 70 years.
            (D) The chief judge has served for a term of 7 years as 
        chief judge.

    (2) When the chief judge vacates the position of chief judge under 
paragraph (1), the position of chief judge of the Court of

[[Page 110 STAT. 3857]]

International Trade shall be filled in accordance with section 258(a) of 
title 28, United States Code.

                         TITLE VI--MISCELLANEOUS

SEC. 601. PARTICIPATION IN JUDICIAL GOVERNANCE ACTIVITIES BY 
                        DISTRICT, SENIOR, AND MAGISTRATE JUDGES.

    (a) Judicial Conference of the United States.--Section 331 of title 
28, United States Code, is amended by striking out the second 
undesignated paragraph and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
    ``The district judge to be summoned from each judicial circuit shall 
be chosen by the circuit and district judges of the circuit and shall 
serve as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States for a 
term of not less than 3 successive years nor more than 5 successive 
years, as established by majority vote of all circuit and district 
judges of the circuit. A district judge serving as a member of the 
Judicial Conference may be either a judge in regular active service or a 
judge retired from regular active service under section 371(b) of this 
title.''.
    (b) Board of the Federal Judicial Center.--Section 621 of title 28, 
United States Code, is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a) by striking out paragraph (2) and 
        inserting in lieu thereof the following:
            ``(2) two circuit judges, three district judges, one 
        bankruptcy judge, and one magistrate judge, elected by vote of 
        the members of the Judicial Conference of the United States, 
        except that any circuit or district judge so elected may be 
        either a judge in regular active service or a judge retired from 
        regular active service under section 371(b) of this title but 
        shall not be a member of the Judicial Conference of the United 
        States; and''; and
            (2) in subsection (b) by striking out ``retirement,'' and 
        inserting in lieu thereof ``retirement pursuant to section 
        371(a) or section 372(a) of this title,''.
SEC. 602. THE DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE 
                        OFFICE AS OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES.

    Section 601 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at 
the end thereof the following: ``The Director and Deputy Director shall 
be deemed to be officers for purposes of title 5, United States Code.''.

SEC. 603. REMOVAL OF ACTION FROM STATE COURT.

    Section 1446(c)(1) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by 
striking out ``petitioner'' and inserting in lieu thereof ``defendant or 
defendants''.
SEC. 604. FEDERAL JUDICIAL CENTER EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT PROVISIONS.

    Section 627(b) of title 28, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) in the first sentence by inserting ``Deputy Director,'' 
        before ``the professional staff''; and
            (2) in the first sentence by inserting ``chapter 84 
        (relating to the Federal Employees' Retirement System),'' after 
        ``(relating to civil service retirement),''.

[[Page 110 STAT. 3858]]

SEC. 605. ABOLITION OF THE SPECIAL COURT, REGIONAL RAIL 
                        REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1973.

    (a) Abolition of the Special Court.--Section 209 of the Regional 
Rail Reorganization Act of 1973 (45 U.S.C. 719) is amended in subsection 
(b)--
            (1) by inserting ``(1)'' before ``Within 30 days after''; 
        and
            (2) by adding at the end thereof the following new 
        paragraph:

<<NOTE: Effective date.>>     ``(2) The special court referred to in 
paragraph (1) of this subsection is abolished effective 90 days after 
the date of enactment of the Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1996. On 
such effective date, all jurisdiction and other functions of the special 
court shall be assumed by the United States District Court for the 
District of Columbia. With respect to any proceedings that arise or 
continue after the date on which the special court is abolished, the 
references in the following provisions to the special court established 
under this subsection shall be deemed to refer to the United States 
District Court for the District of Columbia:
            ``(A) Subsections (c), (e)(1), (e)(2), (f) and (g) of this 
        section.
            ``(B) Sections 202 (d)(3), (g), 207 (a)(1), (b)(1), (b)(2), 
        208(d)(2), 301 (e)(2), (g), (k)(3), (k)(15), 303 (a)(1), (a)(2), 
        (b)(1), (b)(6)(A), (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), (c)(4), (c)(5), 304 
        (a)(1)(B), (i)(3), 305 (c), (d)(1), (d)(2), (d)(3), (d)(4), 
        (d)(5), (d)(8), (e), (f)(1), (f)(2)(B), (f)(2)(D), (f)(2)(E), 
        (f)(3), 306 (a), (b), (c)(4), and 601 (b)(3), (c) of this Act 
        (45 U.S.C. 712 (d)(3), (g), 717 (a)(1), (b)(1), (b)(2), 
        718(d)(2), 741 (e)(2), (g), (k)(3), (k)(15), 743 (a)(1), (a)(2), 
        (b)(1), (b)(6)(A), (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), (c)(4), (c)(5), 744 
        (a)(1)(B), (i)(3), 745 (c), (d)(1), (d)(2), (d)(3), (d)(4), 
        (d)(5), (d)(8), (e), (f)(1), (f)(2)(B), (f)(2)(D), (f)(2)(E), 
        (f)(3), 746 (a), (b), (c)(4), 791 (b)(3), (c)).
            ``(C) Sections 1152(a) and 1167(b) of the Northeast Rail 
        Service Act of 1981 (45 U.S.C. 1105(a), 1115(a)).
            ``(D) Sections 4023 (2)(A)(iii), (2)(B), (2)(C), (3)(C), 
        (3)(E), (4)(A) and 4025(b) of the Conrail Privatization Act (45 
        U.S.C. 1323 (2)(A)(iii), (2)(B), (2)(C), (3)(C), (3)(E), (4)(A), 
        1324(b)).
            ``(E) Section 24907(b) of title 49, United States Code.
            ``(F) Any other Federal law (other than this subsection and 
        section 605 of the Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1996), 
        Executive order, rule, regulation, delegation of authority, or 
        document of or relating to the special court as previously 
        established under paragraph (1) of this subsection.''.

    (b) Appellate Review.--(1) Section 209(e) of the Regional Rail 
Reorganization Act of 1973 (45 U.S.C. 719) is amended by striking out 
the paragraph following paragraph (2) and inserting in lieu thereof the 
following:
    ``(3) An order or judgment of the United States District Court for 
the District of Columbia in any action referred to in this section shall 
be reviewable in accordance with sections 1291, 1292, and 1294 of title 
28, United States Code.''.
    (2) Section 303 of the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973 (45 
U.S.C. 743) is amended by striking out subsection (d) and inserting in 
lieu thereof the following:
    ``(d) Appeal.--An order or judgment entered by the United States 
District Court for the District of Columbia pursuant to subsection (c) 
of this section or section 306 shall be reviewable in accordance with 
sections 1291, 1292, and 1294 of title 28, United States Code.''.

[[Page 110 STAT. 3859]]

    (3) Section 1152 of the Northeast Rail Service Act of 1981 (45 
U.S.C. 1105) is amended by striking out subsection (b) and inserting in 
lieu thereof the following:
    ``(b) Appeal.--An order or judgment of the United States District 
Court for the District of Columbia in any action referred to in this 
section shall be reviewable in accordance with sections 1291, 1292, and 
1294 of title 28, United States Code.''.
    (c) Technical and Conforming Amendments.--(1) Section 209 of the 
Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973 (45 U.S.C. 719) is further 
amended--
            (A) in subsection (g) by inserting ``or Court of Appeals for 
        the District of Columbia Circuit'' after ``Supreme Court''; and
            (B) by striking out subsection (h).

    (2) Section 305(d)(4) of the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 
1973 (45 U.S.C. 745(d)) is amended by striking out ``a judge of the 
United States district court with respect to such proceedings and such 
powers shall include those of''.
    (3) Section 1135(a)(8) of the Northeast Rail Service Act of 1981 (45 
U.S.C. 1104(8)) is amended to read as follows:
    ``(8) `Special court' means the judicial panel established under 
section 209(b)(1) of the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973 (45 
U.S.C. 719(b)(1)) or, with respect to any proceedings that arise or 
continue after the panel is abolished pursuant to section 209(b)(2) of 
such Act, the United States District Court for the District of 
Columbia.''.
    (4) Section 1152 of the Northeast Rail Service Act of 1981 (45 
U.S.C. 1105) is further amended by striking out subsection (d).

<<NOTE: Effective date. 45 USC 719 note.>>     (d) Pending Cases.--
Effective 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, any case 
pending in the special court established under section 209(b) of the 
Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973 (45 U.S.C. 719(b)) shall be 
assigned to the United States District Court for the District of 
Columbia as though the case had originally been filed in that court. The 
amendments made by subsection (b) of this section shall not apply to any 
final order or judgment entered by the special court for which--
            (1) a petition for writ of certiorari has been filed before 
        the date on which the special court is abolished; or
            (2) the time for filing a petition for writ of certiorari 
        has not expired before that date.

    (e) Effective Date.--The amendments made by <<NOTE: 45 USC 719 
note.>> subsections (b) and (c) of this section shall take effect 90 
days after the date of enactment of this Act and, except as provided in 
subsection (d), shall apply with respect to proceedings that arise or 
continue after such effective date.
SEC. 606. PLACE OF HOLDING COURT IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF UTAH.

    (a) Northern Division.--Section 125(1) of title 28, United States 
Code, is amended by inserting ``Salt Lake City and'' before ``Ogden''.
    (b) Central Division.--Section 125(2) of title 28, United States 
Code, is amended by inserting ``, Provo, and St. George'' after ``Salt 
Lake City''.

[[Page 110 STAT. 3860]]

SEC. 607. EXCEPTION OF RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT FOR DISTRICT JUDGES 
                        APPOINTED TO THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT AND 
                        EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK.

    Section 134(b) of title 28, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``the Southern District of New York, and 
        the Eastern District of New York,'' after ``the District of 
        Columbia,''; and
            (2) by inserting at the end the following: ``Each district 
        judge of the Southern District of New York and the Eastern 
        District of New York may reside within 20 miles of the district 
        to which he or she is appointed.''.
SEC. 608. EXTENSION OF CIVIL JUSTICE EXPENSE AND DELAY REDUCTION 
                        REPORTS ON DEMONSTRATION AND PILOT 
                        PROGRAMS.

    (a) Demonstration Program.--Section 104(d) of the Civil Justice 
Reform Act of 1990 (28 U.S.C. 471 note) is amended by striking out 
``December 31, 1996,'' and inserting in lieu thereof ``June 30, 1997,''.
    (b) Pilot Program.--Section 105(c)(1) of the Civil Justice Reform 
Act of 1990 (28 U.S.C. 471 note) is amended by striking out ``December 
31, 1996,'' and inserting in lieu thereof ``June 30, 1997,''.
SEC. 609. PLACE OF HOLDING COURT IN THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW 
                        YORK.

    The last sentence of section 112(b) of title 28, United States Code, 
is amended to read as follows:

        ``Court for the Southern District shall be held at New York,
          White Plains, and in the Middletown-Wallkill area of Orange
          County or such nearby location as may be deemed appro-
          priate.''.

SEC. 610. VENUE FOR TERRITORIAL COURTS.

    (a) Change of Venue.--Section 1404(d) of title 28, United States 
Code, is amended to read as follows:
    ``(d) As used in this section, the term `district court' includes 
the District Court of Guam, the District Court for the Northern Mariana 
Islands, and the District Court of the Virgin Islands, and the term 
`district' includes the territorial jurisdiction of each such court.''.
    (b) Cure or Waiver of Defects.--Section 1406(c) of title 28, United 
States Code, is amended to read as follows:
    ``(c) As used in this section, the term `district court' includes 
the District Court of Guam, the District Court for the Northern Mariana 
Islands, and the District Court of the Virgin Islands, and the term 
`district' includes the territorial jurisdiction of each such court.''.

[[Page 110 STAT. 3861]]

<<NOTE: 28 USC 1404 note.>>     (c) Applicability.--The amendments made 
by this section apply to cases pending on the date of the enactment of 
this Act and to cases commenced on or after such date.

    Approved October 19, 1996.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 1887:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

SENATE REPORTS: No. 104-366 (Comm. on the Judiciary).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 142 (1996):
            Oct. 3, considered and passed Senate.
            Oct. 4, considered and passed House.

                                  <all>