S 1172

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 1172

To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the efficiency of the appeals process under the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims by improving staff conferences directed by such Court, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 9, 2011

Mr. PRYOR introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs


A BILL

To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the efficiency of the appeals process under the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims by improving staff conferences directed by such Court, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. IMPROVEMENTS TO STAFF CONFERENCES DIRECTED BY UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS.

    (a) In General- Subchapter II of chapter 72 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 7264 the following new section:

`Sec. 7264A. Staff conferences

    `(a) Filing of Report Describing Basis for Opposition by Secretary to Remand- If the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims directs the representatives and self-represented parties to participate in a staff conference pursuant to rule 33 of the Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, or any corresponding similar rule, and an agreement to remand the matter has not been reached before the end of such conference, the Secretary shall, not later than seven days after the end of such conference, submit to the Court and the appellant a written report describing the basis upon which the Secretary remains opposed to remand.

    `(b) Subsequent Determination by Secretary of Need for Remand- If the Secretary submits a written report as described in subsection (a) in a matter, the Secretary may not seek a remand of the matter without the agreement of the appellant.

    `(c) Effect of Subsequent Determination of Need for Remand- Any period during which the Court is considering a motion made or during which a matter is remanded in accordance with subsection (b) shall not be counted against an appellant for purposes of any time limitation under this chapter or the Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

    `(d) Prohibition on Objection or Opposition to Subsequent Filings for Fees and Other Expenses- If the Secretary seeks a remand after the end of the seven-day period described in subsection (a), the Secretary may not oppose any subsequent filing by the appellant for fees and other expenses under section 2412 of title 28.

    `(e) Sanctions- If the Secretary fails to comply with this section, the Court may impose on the Secretary such sanctions, including monetary sanctions, as the Court considers appropriate.'.

    (b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 72 of such title is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 7264 the following new item:

      `7264A. Staff conferences.'.

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