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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
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.
Purpose and Summary.............................................. 1
Background and Need for the Legislation.......................... 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
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
The realignment is supported by the judges of the Northern
District, the Fifth Circuit Judicial Council, and the Northern
District US Attorney.
The Committee on the Judiciary held no hearings on H.R.
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.
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
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
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
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.
Douglas W. Elmendorf,
Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
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
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.
The following discussion describes the bill as reported by
Sec. 1. Short title.
This Act may be cited as the ``Divisional Realignment Act
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
Section 3 amends 28 USC Sec. 104(a) by realigning the four
divisions within the Northern District of Mississippi as
LThe Delta Division is eliminated and its
eight counties are reallocated among the three
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
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.
[(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,
[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
[Court for the Western division shall be held at
[(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
[Court for the Greenville division shall be held at
(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
(3) The Greenville Division comprises the counties
of Attala, Bolivar, Carroll, Coahoma, Grenada,
Humphreys, Leflore, Montgomery, Sunflower, and
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.
(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
* * * * * * *
(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
* * * * * * *