You are here

Landmark Legislation: Federal Circuit

96 Stat. 25
April 2, 1982

An Act

To establish a United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, to establish a United States Claims Court, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the "Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1982".

TITLE I-UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT AND UNITED STATES CLAIMS COURT

Part A-Organization, Structure, and Jurisdiction

NUMBER AND COMPOSITION OF CIRCUITS

Sec. 101. Section 41 of title 28, United States Code, as amended by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Reorganization Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-452; 94 Stat. 1994), is amended by striking out "twelve" and inserting in lieu thereof "thirteen" and by adding at the end thereof the following:

"Federal................................. All Federal judicial district.".

NUMBER OF CIRCUIT JUDGES

Sec. 102. (a) Section 44(a) of title 28, United States Code, as amended by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Reorganization Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-452; 94 Stat. 1994), is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:

"Federal................................. 12".

(b) Section 44(c) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding the following sentence at the end thereof: "While in active service, each circuit judge of the Federal judicial circuit appointed after the effective date of this Act, and the chief judge of the Federal judicial circuit, whenever appointed, shall reside within fifty miles of the District of Columbia.".

PANELS OF JUDGES; NUMBER OF JUDGES FOR HEARINGS

Sec. 103. (a) Section 46(a) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by striking out "divisions" and inserting in lieu thereof "panels".

(b) Section 46(b) of title 28, United States Code, is amended-

(1) by striking out "divisions" each place it appears and inserting in lieu thereof "panels";

(2) by inserting immediately before the period at the end of the first sentence the following: ", at least a majority of whom shall be judges of that court, unless such judges cannot sit because recused or disqualified, or unless the chief judge of that court certifies that there is an emergency including, but not limited to, the unavailability of a judge of the court because of illness"; and

(3) by adding at the end thereof the following new sentence: "The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit shall determine by rule a procedure for the rotation of judges from panel to panel to ensure that all of the judges sit on a representative cross section of the cases heard and, notwithstanding the first sentence of this subsection, may determine by rule the number of judges, not less than three, who constitute a panel.".

(c) The first sentence of section 46(c) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by inserting immediately after "three judges" the following: "(except that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit may sit in panels of more than three judges if its rules so provide)".

(d) Section 46(d) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by striking out "division" and inserting in lieu thereof "panel".

PLACES FOR HOLDING COURT

Sec. 104. (a) Section 48 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by striking out the first two sentences and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"(a) The courts of appeals shall hold regular sessions at the places listed below, and at such other places within the respective circuit as each court may designate by rule.".

(b) Section 48 of title 28, United States Code, as amended by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Reorganization Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-452; 94 Stat 1994), is amended further by inserting at the end of the table of circuits and places the following:

"Federal................................. District of Columbia, and in any other place listed above as the court by rule directs.".

(c) Section 48 of title 28, United States Code, is amended further by striking out the final paragraph and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"(b) Each court of appeals may hold special sessions at any place within its circuit as the nature of the business may require, and upon such notice as the court orders. The court may transact any business at a special session which it might transact at a regular session.

"(c) Any court of appeals may pretermit, with the consent of the Judicial Conference of the United States, any regular session of court at any place for insufficient business or other good cause.

"(d) The times and places of the sessions of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit shall be prescribed with a view to securing reasonable opportunity to citizens to appear before the court with as little inconvenience and expense to citizens as is practicable.".

JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FEDERAL Circuit

Sec. 127. (a) Chapter 83 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new sections:

" 1295. Jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

"(a) The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit shall have exclusive jurisdiction-

"(1) of an appeal from a final decision of a district court of the United States, the United States District Court for the District of the Canal Zone, the District Court of Guam, the District Court of the Virgin Islands, or the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, if the jurisdiction of that court was based, in whole or in part, on section 1338 of this title, except that a case involving a claim arising under any Act of Congress relating to copyrights or trademarks and no other claims under section 1338(a) shall be governed by sections 1291, 1292, and 1294 of this title;

"(2) of an appeal from a final decision of a district court of the United States, the United States District Court for the District of the Canal Zone, the District Court of Guam, the District Court of the Virgin Islands, or the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, if the jurisdiction of that court was based, in whole or in part, on section 1346 of this title, except that jurisdiction of an appeal in a case brought in a district court under section 1346(a)(l), 1346(b), 1346(e), or 1346(f) of this title or under section 1346(a)(2) when the claim is founded upon an Act of Congress or a regulation of an executive department providing for internal revenue shall be governed by sections 1291, 1292, and 1294 of this title;

"(3) of an appeal from a final decision of the United States Claims Court;

"(4) of an appeal from a decision of-

"(A) the Board of Appeals or the Board of Patent Interferences of the Patent and Trademark Office with respect to patent applications and interferences, at the instance of an applicant for a patent or any party to a patent interference, and any such appeal shall waive the right of such applicant or party to proceed under section 145 or 146 of title 35;

"(B) the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks or the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board with respect to applications for registration of marks and other proceedings as provided in section 21 of the Trademark Act of 1946 (15 U.S.C. 1071); or

"(C) a district court to which a case was directed pursuant to section 145 or 146 of title 35;

"(5) of an appeal from a final decision of the United States Court of International Trade;

"(6) to review the final determinations of the United States International Trade Commission relating to unfair practices in import trade, made under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1337);

"(7) to review, by appeal on questions of law only, findings of the Secretary of Commerce under headnote 6 to schedule 8, part 4, of the Tariff Schedules of the United States (relating to importation of instruments or apparatus);

"(8) of an appeal under section 71 of the Plant Variety Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 2461);

"(9) of an appeal from a final order or final decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board, pursuant to sections 7703(b)(l) and 7703(d) of title 5; and

"(10) of an appeal from a final decision of an agency board of contract appeals pursuant to section 8(g)(l) of the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 (41 U.S.C. 607(g)(l)).

"(b) The head of any executive department or agency may, with the approval of the Attorney General, refer to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for judicial review any final decision rendered by a board of contract appeals pursuant to the terms of any contract with the United States awarded by that department or agency which the head of such department or agency has concluded is not entitled to finality pursuant to the review standards specified in section 10(b) of the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 (41 U.S.C. 609(b)). The head of each executive department or agency shall make any referral under this section within one hundred and twenty days after the receipt of a copy of the final appeal decision.

"(c) The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit shall review the matter referred in accordance with the standards specified in section 10(b) of the Contract Disputes Act of 1978. The court shall proceed with judicial review on the administrative record made before the board of contract appeals on matters so referred as in other cases pending in such court, shall determine the issue of finality of the appeal decision, and shall, if appropriate, render judgment thereon, or remand the matter to any administrative or executive body or official with such direction as it may deem proper and just.

" 1296. Precedence of cases in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

"Civil actions in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit shall be given precedence, in accordance with the law applicable to such actions, in such order as the court may by rule establish.".

(b) The section analysis of chapter 83 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new items:

"1295. Jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

"1296. Precedence of cases in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.".