Is Bankruptcy Overseen by Federal or State Courts?

Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over bankruptcies. People file bankruptcy with the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, which are units under the Federal District Court system that oversees bankruptcies.

Constitutional authority over bankruptcy

The United States district court system comprises 94 federal judicial districts, with each state having at least one district. The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and Northern Mariana Islands also have district courts that hear federal cases and bankruptcy cases. Each district has one bankruptcy court. Florida has three federal district Courts:

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Jacksonville bankruptcy attorneys represent clients in the bankruptcy court under the U.S. Court for the Middle District of Florida.

The federal government derives its authority to establish bankruptcy laws from the U.S. Constitution. However, despite this fact, it was not until the 1800s that Congress passed several statutes granting jurisdiction to federal courts for bankruptcy cases. Congress passed the first bankruptcy statute granting federal jurisdiction in 1800 and repealed it in 1803 and passed a similar statute granting federal jurisdiction in 1841 but repealed it in 1843. Finally Congress passed another act that governed federal bankruptcy from 1867 to 1878 and this act gave district courts jurisdiction over bankruptcy. By the 1960s, the district courts were so overloaded with bankruptcy cases that Congress established independent bankruptcy courts to reduce the district courts’ heavy caseloads.

Rely on dedicated bankruptcy lawyers

The Bankruptcy Law Firm of Lansing J. Roy devotes its entire practice to handling bankruptcy cases. Our firm provides efficient, effective and affordable services to clients throughout Northeast Florida. We offer a free consultation to discuss your financial situation and see whether bankruptcy is the right remedy.

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