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updated: 2/28/2013 6:26 AM

Federal courts in Chicago contemplates closing

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Associated Press

The federal court in Chicago is contemplating closing its doors one workday every week if lawmakers don't avert automatic federal budget cuts set to take effect Friday.

Tom Bruton is clerk for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Bruton says if there's no fix for months, the court may have to stop holding civil trials. The yearly operating budget of the court is around $16 million. Bruton says the shortfall could be in the millions of dollars.

The cuts also would force around 1,000 employees at the FBI's Chicago office to take 14 unpaid furlough days.

FBI spokeswoman Joan Hyde said the federal budget cuts would impact the office's work on terrorism, violent crimes, crimes against children and white collar crimes.

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