An Additional Federal Court Location in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Is Not Needed

GGD-82-30: Published: Dec 30, 1981. Publicly Released: Jan 11, 1982.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO assessed the practicality of establishing a federal district court and bankruptcy court location in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Two prior attempts to statutorily establish a district court location in Lancaster failed because the caseload involving Lancaster County was not sufficient to justify a separate location.

The examination showed that the same condition presently exists. The number of civil and criminal cases filed during the year ending June 30, 1981, involving Lancaster residents represented less than 2 percent of the total caseload of the eastern district of Pennsylvania during the same period. Thus, GAO believes that the judiciary will not and probably should not at this time endorse legislation to designate Lancaster as a federal district court location. With regard to bankruptcy court proceedings, Lancaster County court officials have agreed to provide courtroom facilities to federal bankruptcy trustees so that the first hearing of a case can be conducted in Lancaster. This arrangement will significantly reduce travel by Lancaster County residents when litigating their cases in federal bankruptcy court.

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