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Federal Judicial Materials

About Bankruptcy Courts

The U.S. District Courts hold jurisdiction in bankruptcy proceedings under 28 U.S.C. §1334.  Each district includes a United States bankruptcy court as a unit of the district court. Three territories of the United States — the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands — have district courts that hear federal cases, including bankruptcy cases.  In practice, each District Court refers bankruptcy cases to the district's  Bankruptcy Court under the authority of 28 U.S.C. §157(a).


Always check the district court's website for these Local Court Rules.  In addition, some Bankruptcy judges issue Chambers Procedures regarding their own procedures.  Chambers Procedures are posted on the particular Bankruptcy court's website.

Locate a Bankruptcy Court

Bankruptcy courts in some of the 94 federal districts sit in multiple locations.  

Bankruptcy Dockets

A bankruptcy docket is the record that documents the progress of a bankruptcy filing.  The docket sheet will list the date and the particular activity in the case on that date.  Since bankruptcy petitions and all related documents must be filed electronically through the court's CM/ECF system, the docket  can be searched and viewed by the public. The petition as well as accompanying schedules, motions and orders, and proposed plans and confirmed plans are all examples of documents which can be retrieved by a docket search.