You are here

Horizontal Consolidation Pilot Project Questionnaire

Monday, July 10, 2017


TO: Attorneys of Record and Trustees of the Northern and Southern District of Iowa
FROM: U.S. Bankruptcy Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa
DATE: July 10, 2017
RE: Horizontal Consolidation Pilot Project



Dear Attorneys and Trustees,

The Bankruptcy Clerk’s Offices for the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa are entering into a three-year Horizontal Consolidation Pilot Project initiated by the Judicial Conference of the United States Courts. It will study the impact of combining leadership of both courts under one Clerk of Court to determine if there are efficiencies and financial savings that can be achieved by sharing Human Resources, Budget, Finance and IT functions under this structure. The pilot will have little effect on attorneys and parties appearing in the Bankruptcy Courts in either District. The processes and procedures that are currently in place for each of the Districts and the Bankruptcy Courts will not change. For example, the Northern District’s Local Rules will remain in place and will not be adopted by the Southern District.

Jean Hekel, Bankruptcy Clerk for the Northern District of Iowa will be dually appointed to serve in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa, upon the retirement of Ginny Satterstrom, Bankruptcy Clerk for the Southern District of Iowa. The effective date of the Horizontal Consolidation Pilot Project is August 1, 2017.

In an effort to gather useful data related to the Horizontal Consolidation Pilot Project, the Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of the Bankruptcy System (JCUS Bankruptcy Committee), along with the Bankruptcy Judges and Clerks of Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa, have asked the Federal Judicial Center (FJC) to survey bankruptcy attorneys and trustees about the services provided by the two Bankruptcy Clerk's Offices.

The FJC is the research and education organization for the federal courts and is located in Washington, D.C.

The survey is part of the two courts’ ongoing commitment to provide the highest level of service possible and is also a component of a study concerning the sharing agreement between our two courts that will begin in August.

The FJC will be sending all attorneys and trustees of record with either of our courts during the past two years a questionnaire about the Bankruptcy Clerk’s Offices in the district(s) in which they work.

Only the FJC researchers will see your completed questionnaire(s). The researchers will prepare reports from the aggregated survey results for the JCUS Bankruptcy Committee and our two courts. In doing so, the researchers will compile the responses so as to protect your confidentiality, and no responses will be directly attributed to you or to any other specific respondent.

We hope you will take the opportunity to provide us with feedback about the services of our Bankruptcy Clerk’s Offices. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Beth Wiggins of the Federal Judicial Center (202-502-4076;


Thad J. Collins
Chief Bankruptcy Judge
Northern District of Iowa
Anita L. Shodeen
Chief Bankruptcy Judge
Southern District of Iowa