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Mr. ROONEY. With regard to this item, Mr. Lynn, you are asking or the Court of Claims $5,400 less than the present year? The only cem asked for is for general annual repairs, $3,700, and the repair nd maintenance of mechanical equipment?
Mr. LYNN. That is the only item. The $3,700 is for the structural are of the building and maintenance of the mechanical equipment.
FUTURE OCCUPANCY OF PRESENT BUILDING
Mr. ROONEY. The chief judge, Mr. Lynn advises, instructed that the estimate be held to an absolute minimum pending decision as to whether or not the court will continue to occupy its present quarters after the district court and the Court of Appeals move to their new building this spring.
What is the present situation as to transfer of the court and who is going to be responsible for maintenance?
Mr. LYNN. That is what we have been trying to find out, Mr. Chairman, with respect to the buildings to be vacated.
, let Mr. Lynn. I understood yesterday from the Public Buildings Commissioner that they expect to complete the new court building sometime in April or May, and I do not know whether the Court of Claims will move into the old buildings in Judiciary Square, or not, after the district court and the Court of Appeals move out. I have not been able to get any definite information on that point.
Mr. ROONEY. It is understood, if the committee and Congress allowed the $3,700 for maintenance of the building and maintenance of electrical equipment, that in the event it was taken over by GSA the money would revert to the Treasury?
Mr. Lynn. I should think so. Yes, sir.
We just want to protect the Government's interest by having some funds available to insure preservation and care of the building and its mechanical equipment, pending decision as to the future use of the building. Someone must assume this responsibility.
Mr. ROONEY. Well, if between today and the time we get to the mark-up on this bill, we trust you or Mr. Henlock will let us know as to the decision in regard to this.
Mr. LYNN. I will be very glad to do that.
Mr. PRESTON. I notice Mr. Henlock seemed to entertain a different opinion.
Mr. HENLOCK. It is only on the question whether the money will revert to the Treasury. Ordinarily, when there is a transfer of functions either by administrative action or by direct act of Congress, the action of transfer carries with it a transfer of the funds.
Mr. Rooney. You are now making the problem more difficult.
Mr. HENĻOCK. I think it is important that this point be understood.
Although the Architect of the Capitol has had the structural am mechanical care of the Court of Claims Building since 1901, the tear in which the building was purchased by the Government under act providing for its acquisition specifically for the Court of Claims, the Architect has not, however, been vested with any basic statutory authority for performing duties in connection with that building. His authority has been derived solely from appropriations made from time to time for expenditure by him.
Under the circumstances, the Architect of the Capitol would not have any right, reason, or power to dispose of the building or to determine questions of occupancy. He has no control over the building other than structural and mechanical care. The Architect, likewise, has had duties of similar nature to perform for more than s century in connection with the district courthouse in Judiciary Square, without any basic statutory powers for performing such duties—his authority deriving solely from Appropriation Acts. The same is true of the Court of Appeals Building erected and occupied in 1910.
There is some difference of opinion as to whether changes in the use and care of these three buildings can be made under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 by administrative action without going through the Congress, or whether a specific act of Congress is required for such purpose. We have our opinion, but will naturally defer to decision by proper legal authority. What it amounts to is that Mr. Lynn simply had to put some figures in the budget to insure structural and mechanical preservation of these properties pending decision as to their future use.
OTHER COURTS AND SERVICES
THURSDAY, JANUARY 10, 1952.
HENRY P. CHANDLER, DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE,
UNITED STATES COURTS
APPEALS, THIRD CIRCUIT
We have with us the distinguished Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Mr. Henry P. Chandler, who, I believe, has a statement which we shall insert in the record at this point. Is that agreeable, Mr. Chandler?
Mr. CHANDLER. If agreeable to you.
Mr. Rooney. At this point we shall insert Mr. Chandler's statement.
(The statement referred to is as follows:)
TEMENT BY MR. HENRY P. CHANDLER, DIRECTOR OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE
OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS
RESPECT FOR THE MEMORY OF REPRESENTATIVE STEFAN
Ir. Chairman and gentlemen of the subcommittee, may I take a moment to ress respect in behalf of the Federal courts for the memory of your late colque, the Honorable Karl Stefan. He had served a number of years on this committee before my first participation in the presentation of estimates for
courts in 1940. Every year since then until now, except for an interval in Seventy-eighth Congress when the appropriations for the courts were placed the bill which appropriated for the legislative branch of the Government, I ve met Congressman Stefan at these hearings. Like all who knew him, I formed for him the highest regard. Congressman
fan had deeply at heart the interest of the country. He strove with all his nd and with unremitting industry to get to the bottom of the estimates that re presented in order that he might act upon them with understanding. He d a proper concern for economy. But he also desired efficient service on the rt of the Government and he was ready to listen to explanations of fiscal retirements. He was essentially fair, endeavoring always to strike a just balance tween the needs of the public service and the cost to the taxpayers. In all his official action, those who appeared before your committee felt a pernal friendliness. When he did not agree, we always knew that he did what he ought was right and recognized his kindly spirit. We shall not forget him. Ithough he will no longer sit across the table from us at these hearings, we shall call him as I know that you will. We shall be helped by his example of conientious and devoted service.
THE STATE OF THE JUDICIAL BI'SINESS-THE DISTRICT COURTS
The heavy load of the district courts continued to be the most important fact i relation to the Federal judicial system in 1951 as it was in 1950.
In most districts the amount of new criminal business decreased. The total number of criminal cases begun in 1951 went up from 36,383 the year before to 8,670, but 14,965 of these cases were connected with violations of the immigration aws occurring almost entirely in the five districts on the Mexican border. Except or those cases the number of criminal cases begun went down from 25,901 in 1950 0 23,705 in 1951. This is the lowest number begun in any of the last 11 years ind is 20 percent below the number in 1941. We have to go back to the First World War to find its equal.
The condition in reference to civil cases is different. The total number brought in 1951 was 51,600 compared with 54,622 the year before, a decrease of 5.5 percent, But the decrease was due almost entirely to a drop of a little more than 3,000 in United States cases to 19,424, somewhat more than one-third of the total number. The number of private cases remained about stationary, dropping only from 32,193 to 32,176. This is significant because as I have said before it is private cases which by and large take the greatest amount of time of the judges. Cases based upon diversity of citizenship went up from 13,124 in 1950 to 13,490 in 1951.
The criminal cases pending in the district courts were brought down during 1951 from 8,181 to 7,701. Civil cases pending were also reduced slightly from 55,603 to 55,084. The number of private cases pending increased by 757 during the year and reached a total of 35,582 or about double the number pending at the end of the Second World War,
The congestion of the calendars and attendant delay in trials in some districts work serious hardship to litigants. This can be realized from the fact that the median time required for the disposition of normal civil cases which were tried throughout the country increased from 11.2 months in 1950 to 12.2 months in 1951. The time in a number of districts mainly in the metropolitan areas was much higher, the maximum being in the southern district of New York where it was 35.4 months. An extraordinary number of the pending civil cases, 11,148, or over one-fifth of the number for the entire country at the end of 1951, were concentrated in that district.
These are not pleasant facts to relate. But I think that it is due to you and to the Congress and the people to point out the excessive load which the district courts of the country are being expected to carry at the present time. To avoid misapprehension I would say again what I have said before, that although there is a general increase in the work of the district courts from which few are immune, a
considerable majority are still fairly abreast of their calendars, and parties desiring trial can get it within a reasonable time, in some instances shorter than they wish. But in a number of districts in metropolitan areas, the time required for tria] despite intense efforts of the courts to shorten it, does grave injury to litigants
. The discrepancy between districts in respect to the load upon the judges is shown by the fact that at the end of 1951 the average civil case load per judgeship in 12 district courts in large cities was 349 civil cases pending per judgeship compared with 165 such cases pending per judgeship in the other 74 district courts baring purely Federal jurisdiction.
THE COURTS OF APPEALS
Contrary to the trend in 1950 and in most of the years of the last decade, the number of cases brought in the courts of appeals went up from 2,830 in 1950 to 2,982 in 1951, an increase of 5.4 percent. There were increases in all circuits except the District of Columbia and the fourth, sixth, and seventh circuits. It seems reasonable to expect that in consequence of the large volume of cases in the district courts in recent years, the number of cases going to the courts of appeals for review is likely to increase further. The number of cases pending went up during the year from 1,675 to 1,828. This is not cause for concern as yet, because the median time for disposition of cases heard in the courts of appeals is not long. In fact, the median time from the filing of the complete record to final disposition decreased from 7.1 months in 1950 to 6.7 months in 1951.
THE BANKRUPTCY BUSINESS
I informed this committee last year that the number of bankruptcy cases being filed was still increasing, but at a lower rate than the year before. The final count for 1951 showed that the number of bankruptcy cases brought had increased from 33,392 in 1950 to 35,193 in 1951, an increase of 5.4 percent. But in the last 2 months of the fiscal year, May and June of 1951, there was a decrease. That decrease has continued in each of the first 5 months of the current fiscal year ending November 30 last, the latest date to which the record is yet available
. In those 5 months the number of bankruptcy cases filed was 13,771 compared with 14,401 in the corresponding months of 1950, a decrease of approximately 4.4 percent.
The number of pending bankruptcy cases at the end of the fiscal year 1951 was 40,922 compared with 38,376 at the end of the previous year, an increase of 6.6 percent. In the current year, referees who can show that they need additional clerical help in order to close their cases more rapidly are being furnished it within the limits of the amount for personal services in the appropriation for expenses of referees. A substantial reduction in the backlog of pending cases is being emphasized as an outstanding objective and it is hoped that substantial progress will be made in this direction before the fiscal year comes to a close.
I am gratified to report that the condition of the special funds derived from payments by the parties to bankruptcy proceedings for the salaries and expenses for referees remains excellent. In fact, the surplus in each fund is continuing to rise. The income for both the salary and expense funds in 1951 was greater than in any previous year, and the income in the first 5 months of the current fiscal year was substantially more than in the corresponding period last year. The surplus of receipts over disbursements in the salary fund in 1951 was $395,635 and in the expense fund $245,935. In the first 5 months of the current year
, the surplus accruing in the salary fund was $149,207 and in the expense fund $81,705 according to the closest estimates which we can make at this time. The accu, mulated surplus in the salary fund as of November 30, 1951, was $1,034,185 and in the expense fund $828,963.
REMEDIES FOR CONGESTION IN THE DISTRICT COURTS
In other years I have explained some of the measures which the Federal courts were using in order to dispatch their work as expeditiously as was compatible with reasonable consideration and reduce congestion and delay. These methods are continuing. Among them is pretrail procedure which is having a widening application. It is, for instance, this year being used more intensively in the southern district of New York.
Another method is the assignment of judges who can spare some time from their own courts to other courts either within or without their circuits which are more heavily burdened. It must be admitted that this practice is not susceptible of so
nsive use as formerly. The principal reason is that with the general increase ne civil business of the district courts which I have mentioned, judges are less
to give help to other courts. But while the assistance of outside judges can er be a substitute for enough resident judges it has been and is of some help to rburdened courts, and every effort is being made to furnish it as far as condis permit. It is only just to say that substantial service of this kind is being dered by a number of retired judges.
notable contribution toward dispatch in the business of the district courts a report made by a committee of judges of which Circuit Judge E. Barrett ttyman, of the District of Columbia circuit, was the chairman, and which s approved by the judicial conference at its annual meeting last September. e report deals with ways and means of expediting the trial of long and complied cases particularly those arising under the antitrust and other laws and taining to the regulations of administrative agencies. By authority of the ference it is being widely disseminated not only among the Federal judges tamong members of the Federal bar. It has been observed for years that in the Federal district courts in metropolitan mmunities when large cases are brought under the antitrust acts or in respect policies of administrative agencies, they frequently occupy the time of the dges who hear them for months and even years to the upsetting of the normal ork of the court. The committee of the conference after searching study tending over almost 2 years has made in its report various practical suggestions judges and lawyers, which experience has shown to be efficacious in shortening a minimum the time of such trials. While cases of the kind involved are bound take a large amount of time because of the number and complexity of the issues ad the mass of the evidence, the committee and the conference believed that the me can be materially shortened in ways that are indicated. It is hoped that the eneficial influence of the report will appear in trials of cases of the nature menoned in the future.
But after all methods of eliminating lost motion in trials and arriving at the eart of controversies most speedily are availed of, it will remain true that cases efore a court can be decided only by work, which takes time, and work of the udge which cannot be delegated. If the number of contested cases is large there aust be a number of judges to correspond. Otherwise the calendars are bound to bog down.
The fact is that the increase in the number of district judgeships in the last 10 rears has not kept pace with the increase in the judicial business. Between 1941 ind 1951 judgeships increased from 197 to 224 or 14 percent. But the number of civil cases filed increased 34 percent. The insufficiency in the number of judges s a prime cause of the congestion and delay in individual districts and those conditions cannot be overcome until the cause is recognized and corrected. A bill which has passed the Senate (S. 1203) provides for the creation of 16 additional judgeships, 3 circuit and 13 district, recommended by the Judicial Conference, and some others. Legislation of this nature is an urgent need of the Federal courts.
RELATION OF THE ESTIMATES FOR 1953 TO THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR 1952
The estimates for the new year follow the pattern of those for the current year. The estimates for the courts of appeals and district courts call for no additional positions except the estimate for expenses of referees. In that provision for some additional clerks whose compensation would come from the special fund for the expenses of referees is included in order to assist the referees in making substantial inroads into the backlog of pending cases.
Also except for the same appropriation no funds are requested in the salary appropriations for the courts of appeals and the district courts for the reclassification of any personnel. A small sum for reclassification of clerks in offices of the referees is included in the estimate for referees' expenses in order to place the compensation of clerks in those offices on a similar basis to that of personnel in the offices of clerks of the district courts as provided „y section 26 (a) (2) of the Bankruptcy Act (28 U. S. C. 102 (a) (2)).
The estimates like the appropriations in previous years include funds required for within-grade promotions of the persons coming under the promotional plan for personnel of the courts. They also include funds for payment of the salary increases provided for by the Pay Increases Act of October 24, 1951 (Public Law 201 of the 82d Cong.), and in the case of the court reporters who did not come under that act, provision is made for increases in compensation, corresponding approximately, which were authorized by the judicial conference at its annual