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Government Shutdown Impacting Federal Court System

Updated: Monday, October 7 2013, 05:44 PM CDT

If you're trying to call the U.S. Attorney's Office in Austin, you'll get a message saying the office is unable to answer your call due to the government shutdown.

With the exception of the most urgent cases, U.S. Justice Department attorneys are shelving most civil prosecutions due to the government shutdown.

The U.S. Justice Department issued an order saying attorneys will continue to handle criminal cases without interruption "to maintain the safety of human life and the protection of property." Civil cases are to be "curtailed or postponed to the extent that can be done without significantly compromising people's safety or the protection of property."

We tried calling the U.S. Attorney spokesperson for Austin but he has been furloughed.

On the United States federal courts website it addresses the shutdown and says:

"The federal Judiciary will remain open for business for approximately 10 business days. On or around October 15, 2013, the Judiciary will reassess its situation and provide further guidance. All proceedings and deadlines remain in effect as scheduled, unless otherwise advised."

Not only is the shutdown affecting civil cases, but also immigration cases.

"If people are not detained and they have deportation cases, those dates of their hearing are being postponed because of the government shutdown," says immigration Attorney Paul Parsons.

For people who are currently in an immigration detention center, those cases are not delayed and moving forward.

By Lydia Pantazes

Government Shutdown Impacting Federal Court System

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