H. Rept. 112-497 - DIVISIONAL REALIGNMENT ACT OF 2012112th Congress (2011-2012)
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112th Congress Report HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 2d Session 112-497 ====================================================================== DIVISIONAL REALIGNMENT ACT OF 2012 _______ May 29, 2012.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed _______ Mr. Smith of Texas, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the following R E P O R T [To accompany H.R. 5512] [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office] The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the bill (H.R. 5512) to amend title 28, United States Code, to realign divisions within two judicial districts, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass. CONTENTS Page Purpose and Summary.............................................. 1 Background and Need for the Legislation.......................... 2 Hearings......................................................... 2 Committee Consideration.......................................... 2 Committee Votes.................................................. 2 Committee Oversight Findings..................................... 3 New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................ 3 Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................ 3 Performance Goals and Objectives................................. 4 Advisory on Earmarks............................................. 4 Section-by-Section Analysis...................................... 4 Agency Views..................................................... 5 Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............ 10 Purpose and Summary On March 13, 2012, the Judicial Conference of the United States adopted a proposal for a draft bill that realigns judicial divisions within the Eastern District of Missouri and the Northern District of Mississippi. The realignments improve judicial administration and benefit litigants and jurors. The ``Divisional Realignment Act of 2012'' reflects the draft developed by the Judicial Conference. Background and Need for the Legislation EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI The Judicial Conference recommends shifting two counties (Iron and Saint Genevieve) from the Eastern Division to the Southeastern Division of the District. The two counties have a combined population of 29,000 but their cases, like others from the Eastern Division, are considered in St. Louis, with a population of 2.2 million. A new state-of-the-art courthouse has opened in Cape Girardeau, which is part of the Southeastern Division. Shifting Iron and Saint Genevieve to the Southeastern Division better aligns the places of holding court with the total population served, equalizes the workload of the two divisions, and maximizes appropriate utilization of the new court facility. In addition, the commute to Cape Giradeau is shorter than to St. Louis and therefore benefits the affected jurors, litigants, and practicing attorneys. The change is supported by judges of the Eastern District, the Eighth Circuit Judicial Council, and the Eastern District Bankruptcy Court and US Attorney. NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI The Northern District of Mississippi has four statutory divisions but only three Federal courthouses. The US Judicial Conference recommends (1) eliminating the Delta Division by reallocating the eight counties in that division among the three remaining divisions and (2) renaming two of the three remaining divisions. The existing alignment complicates venue and jury selection because the court cannot select a jury only from the Delta Division. The realignment ensures all counties in the District are statutorily linked to divisions with courthouses. The change also promotes economical travel for jurors and more fairly balances the caseload through the alignment of certain counties. The realignment is supported by the judges of the Northern District, the Fifth Circuit Judicial Council, and the Northern District US Attorney. Hearings The Committee on the Judiciary held no hearings on H.R. 5512. Committee Consideration On May 16, 2012, the Committee met in open session and ordered the bill H.R. 5512 favorably reported, by voice vote, a quorum being present. Committee Votes In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that there were no recorded votes during the Committee's consideration of H.R. 5512. Committee Oversight Findings In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the descriptive portions of this report. New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives is inapplicable because this legislation does not provide new budgetary authority or increased tax expenditures. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth, with respect to the bill, H.R. 5112, the following estimate and comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974: U.S. Congress, Congressional Budget Office, Washington, DC, May 24, 2012. Hon. Lamar Smith, Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, Washington, DC. Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 5512, the ``Divisional Realignment Act of 2012.'' If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Martin von Gnechten, who can be reached at 226-2860. Sincerely, Douglas W. Elmendorf, Director. Enclosure cc: Honorable John Conyers, Jr. Ranking Member H.R. 5512--Divisional Realignment Act of 2012. As ordered reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary on May 16, 2012. H.R. 5512 would realign the Federal court districts of Eastern Missouri and Northern Mississippi and condense the four divisions of the Northern District of Mississippi into three. Based on information provided by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 5512 would have only minimal administrative costs and thus would have no significant impact on the Federal budget. Enacting H.R. 5512 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. H.R. 5512 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of State, local, or tribal governments. The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Martin von Gnechten. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistance Director for Budget Analysis. Performance Goals and Objectives The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H.R. 5512 will improve the administration of justice in the Eastern District of Missouri and the Northern District of Mississippi by realigning certain divisions within each district. Advisory on Earmarks In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H.R. 5512 does not contain any congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of Rule XXI. Section-by-Section Analysis The following discussion describes the bill as reported by the Committee. Sec. 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the ``Divisional Realignment Act of 2012.'' Sec. 2. Realignment with the Eastern District of Missouri. Section 2 amends 28 USC Sec. 105(a) by striking Iron and Saint Genevieve Counties from inclusion in the Eastern Division of the Eastern District of Missouri and transferring both to the Southeastern Division. Sec. 3. Realignment within the Northern District of Mississippi. Section 3 amends 28 USC Sec. 104(a) by realigning the four divisions within the Northern District of Mississippi as follows: LThe Delta Division is eliminated and its eight counties are reallocated among the three remaining divisions. LWebster County moves from the renamed Oxford Division to the renamed Aberdeen Division; DeSoto, Panola, Quitman, Tallahatchie, Tate, and Tunica Counties move from the former Delta Division to the renamed Oxford Division; and Bolivar and Coahoma Counties from the former Delta Division, Grenada and Montgomery Counties from the renamed Oxford Division, and Attala County from the renamed Aberdeen Division all move to the Greenville Division. LThe towns of Clarksdale and Cleveland are listed as authorized places of holding court for the Greenville Division instead of the former Delta Division. Agency Views __________ Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is printed in italics, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown in roman): TITLE 28, UNITED STATES CODE * * * * * * * PART I--ORGANIZATION OF COURTS * * * * * * * CHAPTER 5--DISTRICT COURTS * * * * * * * Sec. 104. Mississippi Mississippi is divided into two judicial districts to be known as the northern and southern districts of Mississippi. Northern District [(a) The northern district comprises four divisions. [(1) Eastern division comprises the counties of Alcorn, Attala, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clay, Itawamba, Lee, Lowndes, Monroe, Oktibbeha, Prentiss, Tishomingo, and Winston. [Court for the eastern division shall be held at Aberdeen, Ackerman, and Corinth. [(2) The western division comprises the counties of Benton, Calhoun, Grenada, Lafayette, Marshall, Montgomery, Pontotoc, Tippah, Union, Webster, and Yalobusha. [Court for the Western division shall be held at Oxford. [(3) The Delta division comprises the counties of Bolivar, Coahoma, De Soto, Panola, Quitman, Tallahatchie, Tate, and Tunica. [Court for the Delta division shall be held at Clarksdale and Cleveland. [(4) The Greenville division comprises the counties of Carroll, Humphreys, Leflore, Sunflower, and Washington. [Court for the Greenville division shall be held at Greenville.] (a) The northern district comprises three divisions. (1) The Aberdeen Division comprises the counties of Alcorn, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clay, Itawamba, Lee, Lowndes, Monroe, Oktibbeha, Prentiss, Tishomingo, Webster, and Winston. Court for the Aberdeen Division shall be held at Aberdeen, Ackerman, and Corinth. (2) The Oxford Division comprises the counties of Benton, Calhoun, DeSoto, Lafayette, Marshall, Panola, Pontotoc, Quitman, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tippah, Tunica, Union, and Yalobusha. Court for the Oxford Division shall be held at Oxford. (3) The Greenville Division comprises the counties of Attala, Bolivar, Carroll, Coahoma, Grenada, Humphreys, Leflore, Montgomery, Sunflower, and Washington. Court for the Greenville Division shall be held at Clarksdale, Cleveland, and Greenville. * * * * * * * Sec. 105. Missouri Missouri is divided into two judicial districts to be known as the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri. Eastern District (a) The Eastern District comprises three divisions. (1) The Eastern Division comprises the counties of Crawford, Dent, Franklin, Gasconade, [Iron,] Jefferson, Lincoln, Maries, Phelps, Saint Charles, Saint Francois, [Saint Genevieve,] Saint Louis, Warren, and Washington, and the city of Saint Louis. Court for the Eastern Division shall be held at Saint Louis. * * * * * * * (3) The Southeastern Division comprises the counties of Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Iron, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, Saint Genevieve, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, and Wayne. Court for the Southeastern Division shall be held at Cape Girardeau. * * * * * * *