Post offices, federal courts would remain open in shutdown

Posted April 08, 2011, at 5:24 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Neither rain nor snow nor government shutdown will keep the mail from flowing or the federal courts from convening in Maine.

No disruption of mail service is anticipated, Tom Rizzo, spokesman for the United States Postal Service in Maine, said Friday in an e-mail.

“The Postal Service is scheduled to continue normal operations, including the delivery and acceptance of mail,” he said.

Post offices will continue to accept applications for passports, tax documents and Selective Service registrations as well as other correspondence or materials to be mailed to other federal agencies.

The U.S. District Court in Maine, with courthouses in Portland and Bangor, will be able to continue operating for at least 10 business days, according to a press release issued Friday.

Money derived from fees and other nonappropriated funds will be used to keep federal courts around the country open, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday. If the federal government shuts down beyond 10 business days, the funding from these sources would be exhausted, according to the press release.

In that case, the court would continue to perform the duties essential to accord criminal defendants their constitutional rights and to continue to resolve their cases, according to the press release.

The court would continue to process civil cases within the constraints imposed by an absence of appropriated funds should a shutdown last longer than 10 days.

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