Last updated: July 18. 2013 7:11PM - 237 Views
Ralph B. Davis
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PIKEVILLE — The federal government will close the offices of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Pikeville, following a cost-savings plan announced Tuesday by the Judicial Conference of the United States.


But bankruptcy proceedings will not be going far. Instead, they’ll be headed just down the street.


The closure is one of six nationwide, which will save the government about $1 million a year, according to a statement released by the U.S. Administrative Office of the Courts. All of the facilities being closed have courtrooms but no full-time resident judges.


AOC currently maintains two sites in Pikeville, the U.S. District Court, which is located in the federal building on Main Street, and U.S. Bankruptcy Court, which leases space inside the BB&T building a couple blocks away. The closure would only affect the bankruptcy court, while the U.S. District Courthouse would remain open, he said.


Jerry Truitt, clerk of the Eastern District of Kentucky Bankruptcy Court, said future bankruptcy proceedings will be held in the U.S. District Courthouse.


Truitt said the court’s lease at the BB&T Building has already expired and the court is currently maintaining its offices there on a month-to-month basis. He said he expects the court to complete its move by the end of the year.


“We are not closing,” Truitt said. “We are still going to be in Pikeville … If you’re going to bankruptcy court right now, you’re going to 138 Main Street. After the first of the year, you’ll go to 108 Main Street, less than three blocks away.”


“The reason we are doing this at these six facilities is because there was some under-utilization …” AOC spokesman David Sellers said. “The judiciary is having to look at cutting costs, without adversely impacting the delivery of justice.”


The Pikeville closure would save the government $140,000 in lease payments, Sellers said. Truitt said the move would also save up to $10,000 a year more in other fees related to upkeep of the offices.


Other sites slated for closure include courthouses in Wilkesboro, N.C., Beaufort, S.C., Meridian, Miss., Amarillo, Texas, and Gadsden, Ala.


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