Friday, May 22, 2009

Revised Federal Forms

Who'd believe that, at one point, at least, there were over 500 forms in use in the federal judicial system.

But after two years or work, U.S. District Judge Harvey Schlesinger's work group gotten thru them all, eliminating unused or duplicate formats, refining others, and updating the language to reflect rule changes in still others. They went to the people using the forms – clerk of courts, probation officers, magistrates, and others – for their input and suggestions.

They were "particularly aware of privacy issues and the rules on redaction that have become Judicial Conference policy since many of the forms were created," the Judge was quoted in The Third Branch, the Federal Courts' newsletter.

"We restyled language, as they've done with the Rules of Practice & Procedure, to make forms simpler, clearer, more consistent, and easier to read," Schlesinger said. "And, where possible, we made the forms fillable on-line and added drop-down boxes."

At the request of judges, a new, more detailed in forma pauperis application was drawn for use in district court proceedings. A longer form is used in connection with appeals.

All forms are available online at this link, provided by The Third Branch

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