The Honorable George W. White, Former Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, died on Saturday, November 12, 2011 at age 80.
Judge White was appointed to the District Court bench by President James Earl Carter in 1980. Judge White served as Chief Judge of the Court from February 10, 1995 to February 26, 1999 when he retired from the bench. Judge White later served as the first director of the Cleveland Browns Foundation, a philanthropic foundation.
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate, Bankruptcy, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence took effect December 1, 2011. Congress took no action after the changes were approved by the Supreme Court more than seven months earlier.
A free-of-charge website offers training for the federal Judiciary's Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. The site features data from real cases in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York filed over a six-month period in 2007. The training site can be accessed via "What's New With PACER" on the PACER website home page, www.pacer.gov. No registration is required, and a login and password are posted on the training site's Welcome Page.
Users can search the database to find cases to explore. As searches are conducted, a transaction receipt display will explain what charge would have been accrued on the PACER service. Reviewing the receipts will help users manage their PACER charges.
It is strongly recommended that the users of the training site also read the PACER Service Center User Manual. And questions about using the training site can be posted to PACER customer service representatives at 800-676-6856 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because each federal court maintains its own version of the federal Judiciary's Case Mangement/Electronic Case Files syste, a court's "live" database may display information, selection of events, and choice of reports slightly differently from the training database.
On Friday, December 2nd Judges Polster and McHargh were interviewed by WOIO reporter Harry Boomer regarding Cleveland's Successful Transitions-Accelerated Reentry (STAR) Program, which assists high risk offenders in reentering the Greater Cleveland Community. Watch the video here.
The Northern District of Ohio is now part of an online pilot conducted by the Government Printing Office (GPO) called FDsys (Federal Digital System) which provides free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government.
The main entrance of the James M. Ashley and Thomas W.L. Ashley U. S. Courthouse, located in Toledo, has reopened following renovation. Visitors may now gain entrance to the building utilizing the entrance located on Spielbusch Avenue.
The Judicial Conference of the United States Courts has amended the Electronic Public Access Fee Schedule to increase the PACER Internet access fee from eight cents per page to ten cents per page and to raise the waiver from $10 to $15 in a quarterly billing cycle, effective April 1, 2012.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is proposing comprehensive amendments to the Sixth Circuit Rules and Internal Operating Procedures. Pursuant to 6 Cir. R. 47(a), all interested parties have the opportunity to register comments to the proposed changes.
At its March 2012 session, the Judicial Conference approved minor changes to the miscellaneous fee schedules for the district courts and Court of Federal Claims.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio seeks to enter into a contract with a court reporting firm in the Toledo vicinity (including Michigan based firms), to provide court reporting services as needed for two active judges, two senior judges and two magistrate judges at the courthouse located at 1716 Spielbusch Avenue, Toledo, Ohio.
Attorney Jeffrey J. Helmick was sworn in to serve as U.S. District Judge in Toledo for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on June 18, 2012.
The U.S. Supreme Court has approved and transmitted to Congress amendments to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure that will take effect on December 1, 2012 unless Congress takes action to reject, modify or defer them.
The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has scheduled a hearing session to consider various matters on July 26, 2012 in the Ceremonial Courtroom (19A) of the Carl B. Stokes U.S. Courthouse in Cleveland. Oral argument will commence at 9:30 a.m. Counsel presenting oral argument must be present at 8:00 a.m.
Modifications were made to Local Civil Rule 3.1 regarding Assignment of Cases; Related Cases, Refiled, Dismissed and Remanded Cases. Technical modifications were made to Local Civil Rules 67.1 and 67.2 regarding Deposits and Disbursements.
The district's Court Re-entry / STAR program was the subject of a July 21, 2012 story in The Plain Dealer (Federal re-entry program puts judge and offender on same team: Margaret Bernstein). The STAR (Successful Transitions-Accelerated Reentry) Program is a collaboration between the Northern District of Ohio U.S. Pretrial Services and Probation Office and community resource providers to facilitate safe and successful reintegration of offenders into the community, through early assessment and planning.
The U.S. Pretrial Services and Probation Department and the Clerk's Office have been working on a pilot project to provide judges and attorneys with electronic access to pre-sentence reports in criminal cases through the CM/ECF system.
The public comment period has opened for several proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, which govern litigation in the federal courts. The comment period closes February 15, 2013.
The Library of Congress has announced the launch of Congress.gov, a new resource for United States legislative information.
The U.S. Pretrial Services and Probation Department and the Clerk’s Office have been working on a pilot project to provide judges and attorneys with electronic access to pre-sentence reports in criminal cases through the CM/ECF system. The pilot project is a success. Therefore, beginning Monday, October 15, 2012 electronic filing of pre-sentence reports will become standard in all criminal cases.
Effective January 1, 2013, the regular attorney admission fee will increase from $216 to $225 and the pro hac vice fee will increase from $100 to $120.
The Court adopted Local Civil Rule 16.3.1 regarding the Review of Decisions by the Commissioner of Social Security. A technical modification was made to Local Civil Rule 16.2 regarding Tracks and Evaluation of Cases.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has issued his "2012 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary," focusing on efforts by the federal courts to contain costs. To see the full report, visit this link at the U.S. Supreme Court website.
Attorneys wishing to be considered for membership on the CJA Panel who meet the eligibility requirements may submit an application no later than March 29, 2013.
CM/ECF now offers a mobile query interface which provides optimized display on mobile devices.
At its March 2013 session, the Judicial Conference amended the Electronic Public Access Fee Schedule for the appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts, the United States Court of Federal Claims, and the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.
Effective May 1, 2013, pursuant to Judicial Conference Policy, all federal district courts will begin charging a $50 administrative fee for filing a civil action, suit or proceeding in a district court, in addition to the $350 filing fee. The administrative fee does not apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus or to persons granted in forma pauperis status under 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio has adopted a new form to be used when parties seek to proceed in forma pauperis.. All prior versions of the prior form should be discarded and no longer used. The new form is entitled "Application to Proceed without Prepaying Fees or Costs." It is available on the Court's web site and at the following link: http://www.ohnd.uscourts.gov/assets/Pro_Se/ApplicationIFP.pdf
CM/ECF now offers a new simplified interface that is optimized for mobile devices called Mobile Query.
Mobile Query is compatible with smart phones and other devices that access web applications. It is designed to work with both mobile and desktop browsers.
Real Simple Syndication (RSS) is a mechanism for delivering regularly changing web content to interested parties. RSS feeds are often used by news organizations, weather sites and bloggers to push, or syndicate, content to their readers.
The U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, has enabled an RSS feed for filings made in its CM/ECF electronic records system. Users can stay up-to-date on case filings of interest to them in an efficient, cost-effective way via this RSS feed.
The Judicial Conference Advisory Committees on Bankruptcy and Civil Rules have proposed amendments to their respective rules and forms, and requested that the proposals be circulated to the bench, bar, and public for comment. The public comment period ends February 15, 2014.
In various parts of the United States, citizens are being targeted by phone calls and threatened with prosecution for failing to comply with jury service in federal or state courts.
In the calls, the threat of a fine for shirking jury service is used to coerce those called into providing confidential data, potentially leading to identity theft and fraud. These calls are not from real court officials.
Federal courts do not require anyone to provide any sensitive information in a telephone call. Most contact between a federal court and a prospective juror will be through the U.S. Mail, and any phone contact by real court officials will not include requests for social security numbers, credit card numbers, or any other sensitive information.
Jury duty is a vital civic responsibility and should be taken seriously by all citizens. However, it is a crime for anyone to falsely represent himself or herself as a federal court official. The federal judiciary takes seriously such an offense.
Persons receiving such a gelephone call should not provide the requested information, and should notify the Clerk of Court's office of the U.S. District Court in their area.
In an emergency move to preserve Federal Defender staffing in FY 2014, the Executive Committee of the Judical Conference of the United States has reduced hourly rates for court-appointed panel attorneys by $15 an hour. Payments to panel attorneys for up to four weeks of work done in FY 2014 will be deferred to FY 2015. An Aug. 16 letter described the moves as temporary and undesirable, but said they "are necessary to avoid permanent damage to the federal defender program." Read the letter (pdf).
The Sixth Circuit Judicial Council received applications from persons interested in appointment to the bankruptcy judge positions in the Northern District of Ohio at Akron and Toledo.
Comments will be accepted through October 15, 2013.
The Northern District of Ohio has revised Local Rule 3.13 Commencement of Action by adding subsection (c) which requires that a party filing a complaint, amended complaint, counterclaim or any other pleading that adds a new patent, trademark or copyright to the dispute must file a form identifying the patent, trademark or copyright registration number(s). This information is needed by the Clerk's Office to fulfill its reporting requirements to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Copyright Office pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 290, 15 U.S.C. § 116 and 17 U.S.C. § 508.
The following update to fees were established by the Judicial Conference and are effective December 1, 2013:
The retrieval of one case from archives was $53.00 and is increased to $64.00 for the retrieval of one box of records and $39.00 for the retrieval of each additional box per case.
USCA fee for the filing of a Notice of Appeal $455.00 will be $505.00.
Any payment returned or denied for insufficient funds is $53.00.
Twenty-five years ago, computers were hurtling America into the Information Age. From 1987 to 1989, the nation’s PC sales tripled, as consumers gained unprecedented power to process words, crunch numbers and print documents at home. The World Wide Web was still being invented, but early adopters were discovering personal email.
In federal courts, the revolution also was getting under way. Documents were still kept on paper, and law firm couriers lined up daily in clerk’s offices, waiting to pore through case files, but all that was about to change.
In September 1988, the Judicial Conference of the United States approved a new way of opening information to the public, through a service known as PACER—Public Access to Court Electronic Records.
The Court adopted technical modifications to Local Civil Rule 83.5(k) and Local Criminal Rule 57.5(k) regarding waiver of the attorney admissions fee. The Court also revised Local Criminal Rule 32.2 regarding presentence Reports and sentencing proceedings.
The Court has adopted technical modifications to Local Civil Rule 23.1(c) regarding Class Action Determination and Appendix J regarding the Court's Pro Bono Civil Case Protocol.
A federal judge from the Northern District of Ohio held a recent naturalization ceremony at a Cleveland history museum, and in the process created a memorable event for two groups.
The hourly pay rates for lawyers who represent indigent defendants in federal criminal cases, which were temporarily reduced last year, have been restored, effective March 1, 2014. In an emergency move last August, the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States reduced the rates for court-appointed panel attorneys by $15 an hour. The Committee described the step as "undesirable," but "necessary to avoid permanent damage to the federal defender program."
In a federal courtroom, a witness, who only speaks Foochow, provides testimony in a case where no one in the room speaks that language. In a preliminary hearing, a Spanish-speaking defendant responds to questions from the judge. In both instances, an interpreter bridging the language gap for the participants is miles away at the other end of a telephone.
Please be aware that members of the public from across the country have reported receiving fake warrants by fax or email saying a federal law enforcement officer or an attorney for the government wants to arrest them on charges such as money laundering, bank fraud, or missed jury duty. To avoid arrest, the warrant says, send money. Do not respond to such requests. It’s a scam.
The warrants may display a bogus logo of an unspecified “United States District Court,” a case number, and various charges. Typically, recipients are instructed to call a number to get a “settlement” or to wire money to avoid arrest.The warrant is phony. A valid warrant would not be served by fax or e-mail. It would be served in person by a U.S. Marshal or other law enforcement officer.
Anyone receiving a fake arrest warrant should contact the FBI or the district U.S. Marshals Office. If there is any question regarding the authenticity of a warrant, contact the your district court. Do not rely on the contact information Anyone demanding or obtaining money or anything of value while impersonating an officer or employee of the United States may be fined and/or imprisoned up to three years.
Public Alert: New Juror Scam Seeks Personal Data
A new juror scam email, which fraudulently seeks personal information that could aid identity theft, has been reported in at least 14 federal court districts.
According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, citizens received emails claiming they had been selected for jury service and demanding that they return a form with such information as Social Security and driver's license numbers, date of birth, cell phone number, and mother's maiden name.
According to the email, anyone who failed to provide the information would be ordered to court to explain their failure, and could face fines and jail time. The email also falsely claimed that it was affiliated with eJuror, an online registration program used in about 80 U.S. court districts.
The email is fraudulent and has no connection to either the federal courts or to eJuror.
What is it like to become an American citizen? Video clips from 16 federal courts show a unique day in which 8,500 immigrants were naturalized as part of a coast-to-coast celebration of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. The federal Judiciary conducted a total of 29 naturalizations Sept. 16-18, with more than 1,500 school students participating or observing.
In 2009, the Court decided to undertake a written history project which would outline the major contributions made by the District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to the administration of justice in the United States. The resulting book, Justice and Legal Change on the Shores of Lake Erie: A History of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, represents a culmination of the Court's work from the time of its inception in 1855 to the present day.
Downtown Cleveland partners involved in the renovation of Public Square have announced the maintenance of traffic plan that outlines changes to traffic and transit routes during construction of the square, which will begin March 9.
During the renovation of Public Square, Ontario Street and Superior Avenue within the square will be closed to all traffic. The surrounding Public Square Roadways and Rockwell Avenue will offer access to bus traffic and local vehicular traffic only.
For the latest up-to-date information on the Public Square renovation, visit: http://www.downtowncleveland.com/
The 2015 Annual Report for the Northern District of Ohio is now available. The report provides an update on the status of the Court and its significant projects and programs and includes brief memorials to Judge John W. Potter and Magistrate Judge James S. Gallas. Click here to view the report.
The Annual Assessment of the Civil and Criminal Dockets provides a statistical history of the civil, criminal and MDL case filings and closings in the Northern District of Ohio over the past 20 plus years. Click here to view the Annual Assessment.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has announced that effective June 1, 2015, the maximum transaction limit for credit card payments accepted by the federal government shall be $24,999.99. An available electronic alternative for payments in excess of $24,999.99 is a wire transfer. More information is available at: http://tfm.fiscal.treasury.gov/v1/announc/a-14-04.html
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is soliciting applications from persons interested in appointment as Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland. Applications must be received in the Office of the Circuit Executive no later than July 7, 2015.