House to consider bill revising DC court rules

The D.C. Courts and Public Defender Service Act makes several changes to the D.C. courts, including authorizing the D.C. Public Defender Service to provide liability insurance for its employees and requiring the chief judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals to summon active magistrates to an annual conference.

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The bill also allows the District Superior Court and of the District Court of Appeals to delay judicial proceedings up to 14 days in cases of natural-disaster or emergency situations and reduces from five to three years the term an individual can serve as a judge of the Family Court of the Superior Court.

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), who serves as serves as chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia, introduced the bill last year.

The House will consider the bill under suspension of the rules, setting it up for easy passage.