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H.R. 2329 (114th): Ensuring Access to Justice for Claims Against the United States Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 14, 2015.

Ensuring Access to Justice for Claims Against the United States Act

Amends the federal judicial code with respect to the jurisdiction of federal courts over civil actions pending in, or on appeal from, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (USCFC) when the plaintiff also has pending in another federal court a civil action that includes a claim against the United States (or an agency or officer of the United States) arising from the same set of operative facts.

Requires the court presiding over the action that was filed later to stay the later action until the action that was filed first is no longer pending. (Currently, the USCFC is prohibited from having jurisdiction of any claim in which the plaintiff has pending in any other court any suit or process against the United States or any person who was acting or professing to act under the authority of the United States.)

Provides an exception to the requirement to stay the later action if: (1) the parties in each of the actions agree; or (2) in exceptional circumstances the court finds, upon the motion of any party, that termination or modification of the stay is necessary to preserve material evidence or to prevent irreparable prejudice to that party.

Provides the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit with jurisdiction of an appeal from an interlocutory order terminating or modifying such a stay.