Oct 1, 2013 5:17 PM

Shutdown stalling federal civil cases in Western District Court

The government shutdown won't affect criminal prosecutions in Lafayette's Western District Court, but it will cause a backlog of civil cases if it continues.

United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that operations of the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, all divisions - Lafayette, Shreveport, Monroe, Alexandria, and Lake Charles are being affected by the partial shutdown in effect since midnight, Oct. 1.

Most criminal litigation and related work will continue with limited interruption, as these activities are deemed essential to the safety of human life and the protection of
property. The U.S. Attorney's Office will continue to work closely with federal, state, and local law enforcement on criminal matters. However, because of the appropriation
lapse and partial shutdown, much of the office's staff working on civil litigation is being furloughed.

Administrative and criminal support staff are also being furloughed. All civil litigation in which the office is involved will be curtailed or postponed to the extent
possible without compromising public safety or the protection of property, and always subject to the direction of the federal courts.

Because of the effects of the appropriations lapse on activities of the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney's Office will not be able to readily respond to
media inquiries. Press releases will be limited to urgent matters involving public safety.

The office's website will not be actively updated during the shutdown. The district will continue to receive communications from the public via mail, email and/or telephone.


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