Federal Court Rules
In the federal court system, the Judicial Conference of the United States serves as the policy-making body. The rules and policies set forth by the Judicial Conference govern the administration of the federal courts.
Federal civil trials are governed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [PDF] while federal criminal trials are governed by the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure [PDF]. Cases heard in a federal court of appeal are governed by the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure [PDF].
For the rules that govern other federal proceedings, see the following documents from the U.S. Courts Web site:
- Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure
- Federal Rules of Evidence
- Federal Rules Governing Section 2254 and Section 2255 Proceedings (habeas corpus petitions)
- Rules of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
- Supreme Court Rules
At their own discretion and within certain guidelines, federal trial courts and federal courts of appeal can adopt their own local rules. Public Law 107-347 requires that federal courts publish any local rules on their Web site. To access a court's local rules, use this directory to locate the Web site of a federal court.
Ethics and Conduct
There are various codes of conduct for federal judicial employees. Federal judges are subject to the Code of Conduct for United States Judges. There is a separate Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees [PDF].
If you are seeking information on how to file a complaint of judicial misconduct or judicial disability, see the U.S. Courts page on the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act.