By Basil Katz
NEW YORK, Nov 2 (Reuters) - The federal court in Manhattan
is expected to reopen to the public and resume normal operations
on Monday, court officials said. after it closed for a week
following Hurricane Sandy.
The courthouse, at 500 Pearl Street, lost power on Monday
along with much of lower Manhattan when the devastating storm
first hit New York City and the region.
Court spokeswoman Stephanie Cirkovich on Friday said that
even if power was not restored over the weekend, as is expected
for the bottom half of Manhattan, the courthouse would keep two
fully powered courtrooms open to conduct proceedings.
If power does return, the court would begin immediately
catching up on all the delayed proceedings, Cirkovich said, such
as jury selection for a trial that had been due to start last
That trial, before U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan,
involves two former hedge fund portfolio managers charged in a
suspected $62 million insider trading scheme.
On Wednesday, Chief Judge Loretta Preska issued a rare order
extending deadlines in pending civil and criminal cases until
Monday, and deadlines for grand jury action until Nov. 12.
A similar order to Preska's, extending deadlines in criminal
cases, was issued at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks
which destroyed the World Trade Center and killed nearly 3,000
people. It left the courthouse closed for a week.
The U.S. District courthouse also houses the 2nd U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court also ceased
virtually all operations during the week.
Circuit Clerk Catherine Wolfe on Friday said that if the
courthouse reopens, the appeals judges would hold oral arguments
starting Monday as previously scheduled. Cases that had been
scheduled for argument this week were all taken on submission
except for three, which will be rescheduled.
The Southern District of New York consists of 59 judges and
four courthouses, including the one in downtown Manhattan. It is
the largest and one of the busiest districts in the nation.
Its courthouses in White Plains, Middletown and Poughkeepsie
have been fully functional since Wednesday.
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