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Shutdown halts civil, immigration cases in courts

Last Modified: Friday, October 04, 2013 4:08 PM

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — The federal government shutdown is having an impact on the court system, with U.S. attorneys shelving most civil prosecutions and immigration courts closed except for the most pressing cases.

A Justice Department directive says U.S. attorneys will continue to handle criminal cases without interruption "to maintain the safety of human life and the protection of property."

The department says civil cases are to be "curtailed or postponed" to the extent that can be done without compromising to a significant degree the safety of human life or the protection of property.

Nationwide, U.S. attorneys' offices are operating at 63 percent of their normal staffing levels, counting non-lawyers and lawyers.

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