Summary: H.R.3550 — 99th Congress (1985-1986)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (12/09/1985)

(Measure passed House, amended)

Rules Enabling Act of 1985 - Amends the Federal judicial code with respect to the U.S. Supreme Court's power to prescribe Federal rules of civil procedure (including bankruptcy rules). Empowers the Supreme Court to prescribe rules of evidence. (Currently, it only has power to prescribe amendments to such rules which are promulgated by the Congress.)

Authorizes the Judicial Conference of the United States to appoint committees comprised of judges and attorneys who will recommend the rules to be prescribed for Federal practice, procedure, and evidence.

Mandates the appointment of a standing committee on rules of practice, procedure, and evidence to review all committee recommendations for consistency with one another.

Provides for public notice of committee meetings for the transaction of business. Specifies exceptions.

Requires that recommendations or prescriptions for rules of practice and procedure be accompanied by: (1) a proposed rule; (2) an explanatory note on the rule; and (3) a written explanation of the recommending body's action including minority or separate views.

Requires the Supreme Court to transmit proposed rules of civil practice, procedure, and evidence to the Congress by May 1 of the year in which such rules are to become effective. Sets December 1 of such year as the effective date for such rules. Authorizes the Supreme Court to determine the extent such rules shall apply to proceedings then pending, except that the Supreme Court shall not require the application of such rule to further proceedings then pending to the extent that, in the opinion of the court in which such proceedings are pending, the application of such rule in such proceedings would not be feasible or would work injustice, in which event the former rule applies.

Requires the Conference periodically to compile rules and orders with regard to procedures dealing with judicial discipline. Requires the Conference periodically to review the procedural rules for consistency with the Conference's rules of practice, procedure, and evidence. Authorizes the Conference to modify or abrogate inconsistent rules

Provides that rules prescribed by district court for the conduct of their business must require public notice and opportunity for comment before they are made or amended.

Requires each judicial council periodically to review certain district court rules for consistency with those rules prescribed by the Supreme Court. Authorizes each council to modify or abrogate any rule found to be inconsistent.

Provides that all orders by the judicial councils relating to practice and procedure shall be made after public notice and an opportunity for comment.

Amends the Federal criminal code to rescind the power of the Supreme Court to prescribe rules of criminal practice and procedure for: (1) trials held by magistrates; and (2) taking and hearing appeals to district court judges from magistrate-held trials.