Duluth Federal Courthouse Employees Affected By Partial Government Shutdown

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: January 09, 2019 10:27 PM

Wednesday marked day 19 of the partial government shutdown.

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In two days, the shutdown will go down in history as one of the longest government shutdowns since 1976.

Duluth Federal Courthouse employees will be affected by the partial shutdown soon. The federal courthouse was able to extend funding to pay staff through Jan. 18 but after that date employees will no longer be paid.

They’ll still be reporting to work but it will be in a non-pay status. This will financially impact the employees in the federal courthouse and their families.

Federal courthouse workers will continue to work without pay because they are deemed essential employees under the constitution and by the order of Chief Judge John Tunheim.

Another agency impacted is the U.S. Department of Justice and their constituent clients.

This has affected some of the case load in the Duluth district.

There's currently 14 civil cases involving the U.S. Attorney’s Office on hold because the attorneys are on furlough as well as their constituent client agencies.

“Our staff will report in a non-pay status and they’ll continue to do the excellent jobs they’ve been doing for the citizens of Minnesota and the United States. They’ll just do it without pay. That will impact anyone who doesn't get a paycheck. Regular bills are coming due, the holiday bills are coming due, so that will impact them in a direct and negative way,” Judge Leo Brisbois from the U.S. District Court in the Minnesota District, said.

Judge Brisbois said throughout his time on bench, prior shutdowns have never extended beyond a few days, noting there’s never been a noticeable impact to the courthouse. The current partial shutdown has proven otherwise, especially if it goes past Jan. 18

As far as cases go, some civil cases will continue besides the ones involving the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Jury trials will also move forward so jurors are expected to report to duty, unless they're told otherwise. Criminal cases will also continue.

Regular office hours at the Duluth Federal Courthouse will be in effect as well.

The hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Alejandra Palacios

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