Bankruptcy Courts

United States Bankruptcy Courts

United States bankruptcy courts are trial-level courts hearing bankruptcy cases.

Court Of Bankruptcy Definition

A court of record, in England, with jurisdiction in bankruptcy, primary and appellate, and which is declared a court of law and equity for that purpose. The nature of its constitution may be learned from the early sections of the bankrupt law consolidation act of 1849. (This definition of Court Of Bankruptcy is based on The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary).

Legal Materials

Links to court Web sites are posted by the American Bankruptcy Institute and FindLaw. Information about the U.S. bankruptcy systems is posted in the Bankruptcy section of the Federal Judiciary web site. Contact information is available in the Federal Courts Locator.

Bankruptcy court decisions are officially reported in West’s Bankruptcy Reporter. Bankruptcy court opinions are also published in the CCH Bankruptcy Law Reporter, and many bankruptcy courts are posting their opinions on the Internet. Links to courts posting free opinions are available through Cornell’s Legal Information Institute and on FDsys. You can also get bankruptcy court decisions (and other filings) from PACERCourtlink and other case filing databases (see “Docket Sheets” in this legal Encyclopedia).

For better searching and cleaner printouts, bankruptcy court opinions are available on Lexis, Westlaw and Fastcase. Selected opinions decided since 1979 are available on Loislaw.

Forms: Official Bankruptcy Court forms are published near the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure in the Rules and Forms appendix to Title 11 of the U.S. Code and in the appendix to Collier on Bankruptcy. In addition, forms are posted on court web sites and on the Federal Judiciary’s Bankruptcy Forms.

See Also

Bankruptcy Appellate Panels
Court Clerks / Court Houses
Docket Sheets
Federal Court Rules
Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure

Bankruptcy Courts: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Bankruptcy Courts. This part provides references, in relation to Bankruptcy Courts, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Bankruptcy Courts by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Bankruptcy Courts and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Bankruptcy Courts or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Bankruptcy Courts and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Bankruptcy Courts. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Bankruptcy Courts should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Bankruptcy Courts when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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