Congressional bill proposes Fort Bragg having one federal district court in Fayetteville
FORT BRAGG — North Carolina’s members of Congress have introduced a bill that would consolidate Fort Bragg into one federal judicial district in Fayetteville, a news release from U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis' office states.
Republicans Sens. Tillis and Richard Burr introduced the bill along with U.S. Reps. Richard Hudson, whose congressional district includes Fort Bragg, and Deborah Ross.
Fort Bragg currently encompasses six North Carolina counties — Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Moore, Scotland, and Randolph.
Cumberland and Harnett are located in the U.S. District Court’s Eastern District, while the other four counties are in the Middle District.
Defendants who are arrested or cited in the currrent Middle District portion of Fort Bragg must travel to Durham, Greensboro or Winston-Salem to appear in court, even though they may live of work closer to Fayetteville, the release said.
“The current judicial district boundaries cause significant logistical issues for court operations and hardships for defendants,” officials said in the news release.
The boundaries also make it difficult for the court to ensure defendants receive notice of their rights, the release said.
Officials said the bipartisan bill would alleviate issues by redefining the Eastern and Middle judicial districts of North Carolina so that any matter occurring on Fort Bragg would be heard in the Eastern District.
The bill is co-sponsored by North Carolina’s Democratic members of Congress — Reps. Alma Adams, G. K. Butterfield, Greg Murphy, Kathy Manning and David Price; and the state’s Republican Reps. — Dan Bishop, Ted Budd, Madison Cawthorn, Virginia Foxx, Patrick McHenry and David Rouzer.
According to the news release, similar redistricting occurred several years ago when Congress moved Federal Correctional Institution Butner into the Eastern District.