On January 22nd, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts estimated that federal courts can sustain paid operations through January 31, 2019 – but “no further extensions beyond February 1st will be possible.” See https://www.uscourts.gov/judiciary-news.
This deadline had previously been extended from January 18th to January 25th; see https://www.ustrademonitor.com/2019/01/jan-16-2019-update-on-government-shutdowns-impact-on-federal-court-system/ and https://www.ustrademonitor.com/2019/01/government-shutdown-closes-in-on-the-federal-court-system-including-the-trade-courts/.
If the shutdown continues after the courts’ existing funds expire, it’s difficult to predict what will actually happen, given that all previous shutdowns ended before courts exhausted their reserves.
The judiciary has continued paid operations by deferring non-critical operating costs and utilizing court filing fees. The Administrative Office points out that these are temporary stopgaps, and the Judiciary will face many deferred payment obligations once the partial government shutdown ends.
The trade courts have recently updated the status of their operations given the partial government shutdown; see below. It is unclear if these two courts will continue to operate past the Administrative Office’s February 1st cut-off deadline for the federal judiciary.
Court of International Trade
The Court of International Trade posted on January 18th that it will continue to perform its “necessary duties” during the government shutdown (including CM/ECF being fully operational and “all filing deadlines will remain in effect”).
Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit (“CAFC”)
On January 18th, the CAFC issued another order regarding its continued operation during the shutdown. See
`The CAFC continues to be fully staffed; all filing deadlines remain in effect, absent a grant of either a motion for extension of time or a motion for stay in a particular case.