There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (09/24/1998)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Judicial Financial Administration

Title II: Judicial Process Improvements

Title III: Judiciary Personnel Administration, Benefits, and

Protections

Title IV: Federal Public

Defenders

Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1998 - Title I: Judicial Financial Administration - Amends Federal judicial code provisions regarding the Judiciary Information Technology Fund to repeal provisions subjecting information technology procurement to provisions of the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 applicable to executive agencies.

(Sec. 102) Authorizes the Judicial Conference of the United States to require the debtor in a chapter 11 bankruptcy case in a district that is not part of a United States trustee region to pay fees equal to those imposed in districts that are part of such a region.

(Sec. 103) Requires, for FY 1999 and thereafter, any portion of miscellaneous fees collected by the Judicial Conference from Federal courts of appeals, district courts, bankruptcy courts, the Court of Federal Claims, and the Judicial Panel of Multi-district Litigation, that exceeds the amount of such fees established on the date of enactment of this section, to be deposited into the special fund.

Title II: Judicial Process Improvements - Provides authority for the appointment of magistrate judges in the district courts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

(Sec. 202) Amends the Federal Magistrates Act to grant U.S. magistrate judges the power to exercise contempt authority within his or her territorial jurisdiction, including summary criminal contempt authority and criminal and civil contempt authority in civil consent and misdemeanor cases.

(Sec. 203) Amends the Federal criminal and judicial codes to remove certain limitations on the authority of magistrate judges to try petty offense cases.

(Sec. 205) Authorizes judges retired from regular active service to serve as members of the judicial council of the circuit.

(Sec. 206) Provides for the sunset of provisions requiring a civil justice expense and delay reduction plan.

(Sec. 207) Repeals a U.S. Court of Federal Claims fee for the filing of any petition.

Title III: Judicial Personnel Administration, Benefits, and Protections - Amends the judicial code to include within the definition of "service," for purposes of retirement provisions applicable to the Directors of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts and the Federal Judicial Center and the Administrative Assistant to the Chief Justice, service as a congressional employee in the capacity of primary administrative assistant to a Member of Congress or in the capacity of staff director or chief counsel for the majority or the minority of a House or Senate committee or subcommittee.

(Sec. 302) Directs each circuit judge of a court of appeals to submit to the chief judge, each district judge to submit to the chief judge, and each chief judge of each circuit and each district to submit to the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, annual reports on the travel expenses of each judge assigned to the applicable circuit or district.

Requires: (1) the chief judge's report to include the travel expenses of each judge, a description of the subject matter and purpose of the travel relating to each identified travel expense, and the number of days of each travel, with the judge's name; and (2) the Director to consolidate the reports submitted and annually submit such consolidated report to the Congress.

(Sec. 303) Transfers Schuylkill County from the Eastern to the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

(Sec. 304) Permits continued payment from retired or retainer pay into a military survivors' benefits plan with respect to a regular, reserve, or former member of a uniformed service receiving such pay who becomes employed as a U.S. justice or judge.

(Sec. 305) Authorizes the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts to designate judicial branch officers and employees to be disbursing officers and certifying officers. Lists rights and responsibilities of such officers.

(Sec. 306) Authorizes the Judicial Conference to prescribe fees for use of information technology resources provided by the judiciary for remote access to the courthouse by litigants and the public and to facilitate the electronic presentation of cases.

Title IV: Federal Public Defenders - Amends the judicial code to exempt Federal public defenders from the Tort Claims Act for claims related to representational services.