Government
5:05 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Sequester Will Affect Federal Courts In Northern Illinois

The federal courthouse in Rockford
The federal courthouse in Rockford

The federal judicial system in northern Illinois could be another victim of a drawn-out sequester. Court officials and prosecutors say they will feel the pinch.

The clerk for the U.S. District Court in northern Illinois says the situation has them contemplating whether to reduce courthouse hours by operating on a four-day-a week schedule.

Clerk Tom Bruton says that would include the federal courthouses in Rockford and Chicago. Bruton also says if the sequester drags on, they could be forced to stop holding civil trials.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office says by late April, they could be forced to furlough staff. Randall Sanborn says it would be far reaching.

“It would be across the board and affect every employee in both our attorneys and administrative support staff. The furloughs would operate by having people furloughed one day per pay period” Sanborn said.

Sanborn says it wouldn’t affect their ability to react to immediate criminal matters. But he says the furloughs would delay long term investigations and pending cases already moving on a slower track.