US judge ignores edict to stop civil cases during shutdown

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A federal judge in West Virginia is ignoring an edict that certain civil cases in his district be suspended during the U.S. government’s shutdown.

Judge Joseph Goodwin of West Virginia’s southern district ruled Wednesday he’s exempting cases assigned to him involving government agencies from an order by U.S. District Judge Irene Berger.

Berger last week ruled such cases will be stopped temporarily. She citing the “lapse of congressional appropriations funding the federal government” that required workforce reductions within the U.S. attorney’s office and other federal agencies.

But Goodwin says the government should not be given special influence or accommodation in cases where that is unavailable to other litigants.

Federal courts in some other states also have suspended work on civil cases involving government lawyers.

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